Genetic Manipulation


By Dr. Mercola

I’ve previously warned of the potential dangers of genetically engineered (GE) foods for many years now, pointing out that such crops might have wholly unforeseen consequences.

In recent years, such suspicions have increasingly proven correct, and now researchers have released yet another bombshell.

Genetic manipulation of crops, and more recently food animals, is a dangerous game that has repeatedly revealed that assumptions about how genetic alterations work and the effects it has on animals and humans who consume such foods, are deeply flawed and incomplete.

At present, the only way to avoid GE foods is to ditch processed foods from your grocery list, and revert back to whole foods grown according to organic standards.

Regulators Discover a Hidden Viral Gene in Commercial GMO Crops

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recently published a paper titled, “Possible Consequences of the overlap between the CaMV 35S promoter regions in the plant transformation vectors used in the viral gene VI in transgenic plants,”1 which has many questioning the safety of GE crops that have already been on the market for two decades.

One way to achieve a genetic modification in a plant is to piggyback a chosen gene on a plant virus, such as the Cauliflower Mosaic virus. Here, they discovered that the most commonly used genetic regulatory sequence (i.e. that which drives the gene expression within the plant), called CaMV 35S promoter, also encodes a gene fragment of the virus, in addition to the desired genetic trait being inserted.

The viral gene fragment in question is called Gene VI, and this encoding may have human health ramifications. According to EFSA,2 they’ve known all along that certain GE crops contained Gene VI, which belongs to the Cauliflower Mosaic virus.

This virus can infect a variety of different plants. It’s not a virus that can directly infect animals or humans. However, while the agency claims the virus poses no direct threat to animal or human health for this reason, others vehemently disagree.

According to an article in Independent Science News,3 written by plant pathology researchers Jonathan Latham and Allison Wilson:4

“In general, viral genes expressed in plants raise both agronomic and human health concerns (reviewed in Latham and Wilson 2008.)5 This is because many viral genes function to disable their host in order to facilitate pathogen invasion. Often, this is achieved by incapacitating specific anti-pathogen defenses.

Incorporating such genes could clearly lead to undesirable and unexpected outcomes in agriculture. Furthermore, viruses that infect plants are often not that different from viruses that infect humans.

For example, sometimes the genes of human and plant viruses are interchangeable, while on other occasions inserting plant viral fragments as transgenes has caused the genetically altered plant to become susceptible to an animal virus…

Thus, in various ways, inserting viral genes accidentally into crop plants and the food supply confers a significant potential for harm.”

Hazard to Public Health has Not Been Ruled Out

GE crops affected include Roundup Ready soybeans, MON810 maize, and NK603 maize, the latter of which was recently linked to massive tumor growth and organ damage in rats in a French lifetime feeding study. All in all, 54 out of 84 approved GE crops contain the toxic gene.

According to the featured article, the EFSA researchers admit the Gene VI fragments “might result in unintended phenotypic changes,”6 as similar fragments of this gene have previously been demonstrated to have independent activity.

Read the rest HERE