This is an issue that appears not to be going away, and it's worth rehearsing what the concern is. When Dr. DeHart and I wrote Transhumanism: A Grimoire of Alchemical Agendas, one of the concerns we speculated about was that genetically engineered crops might not be "recognized" by the human gastro-intestinal system, with the result that genes from such modified plants could enter the bloodstream, or human organs, and cause adverse health reactions. We even speculated that such modified genes might induce genetic modifications in the human genome through some unknown or unperceived mechanism. I've blogged on this site about the latter possibility before(not without some criticism incidentally), but have not blogged about the former possibility.
But it seems that researchers in China have now discovered the presence of such modified genetic material in the blood and organs of animals consuming GMOs:
There are two paragraphs here that grabbed my attention, and I hope yours. The first is this:
"Researchers at the Nanjing University in China have shown that small pieces of ribonucleic acid (RNA) of rice can be seen in the organs and blood of the humans that eat the rice. The RNA is actually microRNA (miRNA). It is incredibly small, but plays a role in such diseases as Alzheimer’s, Cancer and Diabetes. MiRNA usually works to turn off or down the effects of certain genes. The Chinese researchers found the rice miRNA binding to receptors in the liver. The miRNA then affect how the body takes cholesterol from the blood."
Now this has obvious implications for the ingestion of GMO foods, and I imagine you've already seen what some of them are. But then there's this pithy comment from our friends at Mon(ster)santo:
"The Chinese study didn’t focus on GM foods, but it’s not hard to imagine the implication there. Monsanto, a leading proponent of GMO foods, finds no need for alarm. In fact, they state the following on their site, 'There is no need for, or value in testing the safety of GM foods in humans.'”
It doesn't get any plainer than that, but the real subtext here is that if Mon(ster)santo is really saying such things, then it is implicitly aware that some risk is involved, a sort of "nothing to see here, move along."
Well, one of the places I moved along to were some of the links provided at the bottom of the linked article, where I found this link from the World Health Organizaton, written in typically reassuring bureaucratese:
This helpful site contained the following information, that left me rather stunned when I read it:
"3. Is the safety of GM foods assessed differently from conventional foods?
"Generally consumers consider that conventional foods (that have an established record of safe consumption over the history) are safe. Whenever novel varieties of organisms for food use are developed using the traditional breeding methods that had existed before the introduction of gene technology, some of the characteristics of organisms may be altered, either in a positive or a negative way. National food authorities may be called upon to examine the safety of such conventional foods obtained from novel varieties of organisms, but this is not always the case.
"In contrast, most national authorities consider that specific assessments are necessary for GM foods. Specific systems have been set up for the rigorous evaluation of GM organisms and GM foods relative to both human health and the environment. Similar evaluations are generally not performed for conventional foods. Hence there currently exists a significant difference in the evaluation process prior to marketing for these two groups of food."
And then a little further on, an even more stunning admission:
"5. What are the main issues of concern for human health?
"While theoretical discussions have covered a broad range of aspects, the three main issues debated are the potentials to provoke allergic reaction (allergenicity), gene transfer and outcrossing.
"As a matter of principle, the transfer of genes from commonly allergenic organisms to non-allergic organisms is discouraged unless it can be demonstrated that the protein product of the transferred gene is not allergenic. While foods developed using traditional breeding methods are not generally tested for allergenicity, protocols for the testing of GM foods have been evaluated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and WHO. No allergic effects have been found relative to GM foods currently on the market.
"Gene transfer from GM foods to cells of the body or to bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract would cause concern if the transferred genetic material adversely affects human health. This would be particularly relevant if antibiotic resistance genes, used as markers when creating GMOs, were to be transferred. Although the probability of transfer is low, the use of gene transfer technology that does not involve antibiotic resistance genes is encouraged."(Emphases added)
In other words, and much to my surprise, the WHO appears to be "mildly concerned" about possibility number #1, and rather elliptically, through its careful language, seems to be entertaining the wilder high octane possibility #2(i.e., of some direct genetic modification of an ingesting organism's genome by consumption of genetically altered foods). But even if this "high octane reading" of the WHO's site is not correct, at the minimum the WHO is contradicting Mon(ster)santo's alleged statement that no testing on humans is really needed. The WHO even goes on to condemn the idea of any type of blanket statement - such as Mon(ster)santo's alleged statement - is possible:
"Different GM organisms include different genes inserted in different ways. This means that individual GM foods and their safety should be assessed on a case-by-case basis and that it is not possible to make general statements on the safety of all GM foods."
Then, there's another link you should look at in the first article:
This last article cites a paragraph from a scientific paper from The Public Library of Science, which states:
“Our bloodstream is considered to be an environment well separated from the outside world and the digestive tract. According to the standard paradigm large macromolecules consumed with food cannot pass directly to the circulatory system. During digestion proteins and DNA are thought to be degraded into small constituents, amino acids and nucleic acids, respectively, and then absorbed by a complex active process and distributed to various parts of the body through the circulation system. Here, based on the analysis of over 1000 human samples from four independent studies, we report evidence that meal-derived DNA fragments which are large enough to carry complete genes can avoid degradation and through an unknown mechanism enter the human circulation system. In one of the blood samples the relative concentration of plant DNA is higher than the human DNA. The plant DNA concentration shows a surprisingly precise log-normal distribution in the plasma samples while non-plasma (cord blood) control sample was found to be free of plant DNA.”(Bold in the original)
It then draws this analogy:
“One small mutation in a human being can determine so much, the point is when you move a gene, one gene, one tiny gene out of an organism into a different one you completely change its context. There is no way to predict how it’s going to behave and what the outcome will be. We think that we design these life forms, but it’s like taking the Toronto orchestra prepared to play a Beethoven symphony and then you take some random drummers from “here” and flip them in with the Toronto symphony and you say play music. What comes out is going to be something very very different. Publicists say that there is good intention behind GMOs, but the fact of the matter is it’s driven by money.”
Perhaps the analogy is flawed, for it would be more like having an orchestra play a Mozart symphony or concerto, but removing a page from the score, and replacing it with a page from a score of Stravinsky, Schoenberg, or Alban Berg.
So what's my high octane speculation of the day? It's more of a prediction: We're going to hear about more such studies and conclusions, we're going to watch the GMO cartels twitch and turn and spin the daylights out of it, and, I suspect, we're going to hear more quiet, but increasing opposition to GMOs from the BRICSA nations, and I strongly suspect that they are going to begin to couple the GMO issue to the rise of obesity and autism in western countries and particularly in the USA. In short, we're going to take another step closer to the emergence of GMOs as a geopolitical issue.
See you on the flip side....