Thursday, May 23, 2013

Some GMO info from a Canadian Gene Tech Guy

I was reading on the internet again, seems that I spend a rather inordinate amount of time on this modern miracle lately.  I mean it does contain a lot of extremely interesting information, and I just can't keep up with all of it, but I do try.  Also a lot of jokes, and no where near enough time or desire to view all of that.  But, I did find this interesting article in the newspaper "Canada" and thought I would show it to anyone that follows my blog.  I did edit it some, and just to let you know, he mentions this very cool site, nice to view if you have a half an hour.   (GMO Myths)

Genetic Engineering technology was first invented in 1973, it is 40 years old, and it relies on a hypothesis established 70 years ago, the one gene one protein hypothesis.
Each gene codes for one protein. So if you insert a gene, you expect one protein to be produced. This hypothesis was blown out of the water in 2002 when the Human Genome Project was completed, and we discovered that our genome has just under 25,000 genes, while our bodies function with approximately 100,000 proteins. It does not add up. A genome, we learned, is a complex ecosystem under much influence from the environment.
We now know that each gene of a genome makes many proteins according to environmental cues. And since the Human Genome Project we know that genetic engineering creates rogue proteins, and some of them can be allergenic or toxic. Inserting a transgene into a genome and expecting only a single protein and nothing else, is corporate fallacy.
Genetic pollution is so prevalent in North and South America where GM crops are grown that the fields of conventional and organic grower are regularly contaminated with engineered pollen and losing certification.
The canola and flax export markets from Canada to Europe (a few hundreds of millions of dollars) were lost because of genetic pollution. Did I mention superweeds? That's when RoundUp crops pass their genes on to RoundUp Resistant weeds.
Apparently over 50% of fields planted to GMOs in the USA are now infested and the growers have to use other toxic herbicides such as 2-4 D. For those of you too young to remember, that was Agent Orange in the Vietnam war. The transgenes are also transferred to soil bacteria. A Chinese study published last year shows that an ampicillin resistance transgene was transferred from local engineered crops to soil bacteria, that eventually found their way into the rivers. The transgenes are also transferred to humans. Volunteers who ate engineered soybeans had undigested DNA in their intestine and their bacterial flora was expressing the transgenes. This is genetic pollution to the extreme, particularly when antibiotic resistance genes are spread that way.
In 2009 the American Academy of Environmental Medicine called for a moratorium of GM foods, safety testing and label-ing. Their review of the available literature at the time noted that animals fed GMOs showed serious health risks including infertility, immune dysregulation, accelerated aging, dysregulation of genes associated with cholesterol synthesis, insulin regulation, cell signaling, and protein formation, and changes in the liver, kidney, spleen and gastrointestinal system.
The US Food and Drug Administration waived all levels of safety testing in 1996 before approving the commercialization of these crops. Nothing more than voluntary research is necessary, and the FDA does not even want to see the results. And there is certainly no need to publish any of it. If you remember 1996, the year that the first crops were commercialized, the research scientists of the US FDA all predicted that transgenic crops would have unpredictable hard to detect side effects, allergens, toxins, nutritional effects, new diseases. That was published in 2004 in Biotechnology. I know well that Canada does not perform long term feeding studies as they do in Europe. The only study I am aware of from Canada is from the Sherbrooke Hospital in 2011, when doctors found that 93% of pregnant women and 82% of the unborn tested had the protein pesticide in their blood. This is a protein recognized in its many forms as mildly to severely allergenic.
One argument I hear repeatedly is that nobody has ever been sick after a meal or a trillion meals of GM food. Nobody gets ill from smocking a pack of cigarette either. But it sure adds up, and we did not know that in the 1950s before we started our wave of epidemics of cancer. Except this time it is not about a bit of smoke, it's the whole food system that is of concern. The corporate interest must be subordinated to the public interest, and the policy of substantial equivalence must be scrapped as it is clearly untrue.
Dr. Thierry Vrain Courtenay

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