Monsanto’s 21st Century Oath: Do No Harm

January 11, 2010

In preparation for his meeting with executives at Monsanto in St. Louis, MO, Reverend Nate Walker of the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia reflects upon three principles of biomedical ethics: (1) nonmaleficence, do no harm; (2) beneficence, generous acts of doing good; and (3) distributive justice, achieved through the fair, equitable and appropriate distribution of food. This sermon demonstrates how the "Grant Oath" can inspire the entire field of biotechnology to prevent harm, remove harmful conditions, and offer benefits to people, animals and the environment. Visit for the sermon text, including footnotes, which is part II of his series on Sovereign Seeds, a public letter delivered to the CEO of Monsanto on November 1, 2009. Visit to listen/read this original sermon.

Facebook Comments:

  • Charlie Talbert

    Good luck and thanks for doing this!

    Jan 11, 2010 at 5:17 pm
  • Bill Baar

    Not a word on destruction of embryos( ἔμβρυον, plural ἔμβρυα, lit. “that which grows”) for stem cell research. Why the silence? The Do No Harm principle doesn’t apply to that which grows? If not, why?

    Jan 11, 2010 at 7:46 pm
  • natewalker

    Dear Bill,

    Thanks for your comment. The subject of this sermon was about genetically modified foods. I do have other work coming out about embryonic stem cell research. For instances, Robby George, who served on George Bush’s stem cell research council wrote a chapter in my upcoming book:

    Thanks for being in dialogue.

    Peace, Nate

    Jul 20, 2010 at 11:36 pm