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By Dr. Mercola
Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research
has developed a type of genetically modified (GM) wheat that may silence
human genes, leading to disastrous health consequences.
Last year, University of Canterbury Professor Jack Heinemann released
results from genetic research he conducted on the wheat, which showed with
“no doubt” that molecules created in the wheat, which are intended to silence
wheat genes to change its carbohydrate content, may match human genes and
potentially silence them.
University Professor Judy Carman agreed with Heinemann's analysis,
stating in Digital Journal:
"If this silences the same gene in us that it silences in the wheat -- well,
children who are born with this enzyme not working tend to die by the age of
Over 770 Pages of Potential Genetic Matches
Heinemann reported that his research revealed over 770 pages of potential
matches between two GM genes in the wheat and the human genome. Over a
dozen matches were “extensive and identical and sufficient to cause silencing
in experimental systems,” he said.
Experts warned that eating the wheat could lead to significant changes in
the way glucose and carbohydrates are stored in the human body, which could
be potentially deadly for children and lead to serious illness in adults.
Since this adverse effect is extremely plausible, long-term studies are
needed before the wheat is released into the environment and the human food
chain – but a new review states that the risks are still not being adequately
A New 'Breed' of GM Crops
RNA is one of three major macromolecules, like DNA. Double-stranded RNA
(dsRNA) is responsible for regulating well over one-third of human genes.
In a new risk assessment, Heinemann and colleagues explained that while
all commercial GM plants are currently created through in vitro DNA
modification typically to create a new protein, a “growing minority” are
designed to change their RNA content in order to regulate gene expression.
The technique, known as RNA interference or RNA knockdown, essentially
turns off or “knocks down” certain genes. It was first used commercially in
1994 for the development of the Flavr Savr tomato, which was later withdrawn
from the market, and has been applied in various GM crops since. As reported
in The Atlantic:
"Researchers have been using this phenomena to their advantage in the
form of small, engineered RNA strands that are virtually identical to RNA. In
a technique called RNA interference, or RNA knockdown, these small bits of
RNA are used to turn off, or 'knock down,' certain genes.
RNA knockdown was first used commercially in 1994 to create the Flavr
Savr, a tomato with increased shelf life. In 2007, several research teams
began reporting success at engineering plant RNA to kill insect predators, by
knocking down certain genes. As reported in MIT's Technology Review on
November 5, 2007, researchers in China used RNA knockdown to make:
'...cotton plants that silence a gene that allows cotton bollworms to
process the toxin gossypol, which occurs naturally in cotton. Bollworms that
eat the genetically engineered cotton can't make their toxin-processing
proteins, and they die.'
And: 'Researchers at Monsanto and Devgen, a Belgian company, made
corn plants that silence a gene essential for energy production in corn
rootworms; ingestion wipes out the worms within 12 days.' Humans and insects
have a lot in common, genetically. If miRNA can in fact survive the gut then
it's entirely possible that miRNA intended to influence insect gene
regulation could also affect humans."
The Risks of GM Crops Containing dsRNA
According to Heinemann’s analysis, dsRNA-mediated silencing is becoming
the basis of novel traits in GM plants, including biopesticides and altered
nutritional characteristics. “Changing the nature, kind and quantity of
particular regulatory-RNA molecules through genetic engineering can create
biosafety risks,” the review reported, noting that, “we find evidence that
the risks are not considered by some regulators.” They continue:
“While some GMOs have been designed to make new dsRNA molecules, in
other GMOs such molecules may occur as a side-effect of the genetic
engineering process. Still others may make naturally-occurring dsRNA
molecules in higher or lower quantities than before.
Some dsRNA molecules can have profound physiological effects on the
organism that makes them. Physiological effects are the intended outcomes of
exposure to dsRNA incorporated into food sources for invertebrates;
biopesticides and other topically applied products, and could be the cause of
off-target effects and adverse effects in non-target organisms.
A daunting outcome is raised, that each [dsRNA] formulation might
have its own risks.…Production of intended dsRNA molecules may also have
off-target effects due to silencing genes other than those intended.
Unanticipated off-target adverse effects can be difficult to detect and they
are not possible to reliably predict using bioinformatics techniques.
Regulatory bodies are not adequately assessing the risks of dsRNA-producing
GM products. As a result, we recommend a process to properly assess the
safety of dsRNA-producing GM organisms before they are released or
Risks of RNAs of Plant Origin Already Uncovered
One type of dsRNA is microRNA (miRNA). MicroRNA are basically small
pieces of RNA that interact with your genes, essentially stopping certain
genes from being expressed. MiRNA exists in human body fluid naturally;
however, microRNA also exists in plants, and research has shown that eating
the wrong plants may transfer this plant miRNA to humans -- with potentially
The study, published in 2011, determined that microRNA from cooked plant
foods like rice, wheat and potatoes can in fact collect in your blood and
tissue, leading to a number of potential health problems. The study further
revealed that microRNA remains completely stable after not only cooking, but
through the digestion process as well. Most importantly, the researchers
found a significant quantity of microRNA in the human body, concluding that:
"… plant miRNAs are primarily acquired orally, through food intake."
MicroRNA has been widely shown to alter many critical biological
processes, including apoptosis – the process of programmed cell death and DNA
fragmentation. As a result, the dysregulation of microRNAs has been linked to
cancer and various other diseases. And, as noted, plant miRNA has been shown
to interfere with human microRNA by mimicking it and binding to the
receptors, and also potentially through alterations in gene expression.
Most Consumers Unaware of GMO Risks
The biotech industry, led by Monsanto, is increasing their propaganda
efforts to reshape their public image, and sway your opinion against the need
to label GM foods. As The Atlantic reported:
“Given its opposition to the labeling of GM foods… it seems clear
that Monsanto wants you to close your eyes, open your mouth, and swallow."
Indeed, many consumers are still in the dark about the very real risks
that GM crops pose. The Canadian news station CBC News recently reported that
despite warnings that GM foods could destroy the environment and pose risks
to agricultural diversity, most Canadians have “no strong views on the
matter.” Andreas Boecker, an associate professor at the University of Guelph
who has researched consumer acceptance of GM foods, told CBC News:
"These concerns among farmers and informed groups of consumers do not
translate to the average consumer. They are too far removed from the concerns
of the farming community… And if you go by shopping behavior most foods that
they buy have some share of GMOs."
This is precisely what the biotech industry wants, even as increasing
research demonstrates GM crop dangers. One recent study found that rats fed a
type of genetically engineered corn that is prevalent in the US food supply
for two years developed massive mammary tumors, kidney and liver damage, and
other serious health problems. This was at dietary amounts of about 10percent. Does
10 percent or more of your diet consist of GM ingredients?
At present, you can't know for sure, since GM foods are not labeled in
the US. But chances are, if you eat processed foods, your diet is chock full
of GM ingredients you didn't even know about – causing equally unknown
consequences to your health.
Thank You Dr. Mercola
God Bless Everyone & God Bless The United States of America.
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