ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION AGENCY CAVES TO IG FARBENSANTO… AGAIN
Well, the mandarins at the Environmental Pollution Agency have done it again, ensuring that your food supply will be contaminated with the very latest and best in GMO research, according to this article shared by Mr. O.S.:
The culprit in this case is "RNA interference technology." Now, I have to go back several years, when I first started blogging about GMOs, and raised the possibility that genetically modified food might (1) survive the digestive system and (2) enter the consuming organism - that's us, folks - and then cause or create genetic modifications in the human population itself. I was, of course, roundly and angrily denounced, and the denunciations actually at one point made me sound like I was saying that if you eat a steady diet of hamburgers, or bacon lettuce and tomato sandwiches, your children might turn into cows, pigs, or tomatoes. It was about that bad, never mind that it wasn't the point I was trying to make.
Additionally, I also have pointed out, repeatedly, that which other researchers have pointed out: GMO companies limit extensive intergenerational testing to determine the long term consequences to human health and the environment. Not only that, where such studies have been attempted on independent lines, the contrarian results are dismissed by the government, or simply quashed altogether. Russia wasn't buying, of course, and as I've also pointed out, the Russian government raised similar concerns when it began to ban GMOs: inadequate intergenerational testing, possible complications to the human genome itself, and so on. We were assured that the Roundup glyphosate problem wasn't a problem... until of course the studies showing carcinogenic properties became too numerous to ignore, even for the state of Nuttyfornia, which, as the article points out, has now decided that these "food-like substances" need a similar warning as do tobacco products.
Now this article suggests that all of these concerns are implicated in IG. Farbensanto's latest GMO gimmick, RNA-interference corn:
One of the most important discoveries of our time is that all plants, including those we use for food and animal feed, contain a wide range of RNA molecules capable of inhibiting gene expression or translation. These non-coding RNA molecules neutralize targeted messenger RNA molecules (mRNAs), which prevents their translation into a protein, i.e. they “silence genes.”
Compelling research has surfaced suggesting that not only do these genome-regulating small RNA molecules exist in our foods, but that they are capable of surviving digestion, and being absorbed into our bodies fully intact where they alter, suppress or silence genes, post-transcriptionally. Moreover, some of these small RNAs — primarily microRNAs (miRNAs) and small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) — are believed to be cross-kingdom mediators of genetic information, making it possible for RNAs in one species impacting many others through both their active and passive exposure to them.
Food therefore is essentially an epigenetic modifier of gene expression, making it a form of information, and not only a source of bodily building blocks and caloric energy, as conventionally understood. As such, any significant changes to food or feed staples within our food chain could have powerful impacts on the physiological fate of those consuming them, essentially rewriting the functionality of our genomic hardware via software like changes in RNA profiles. (Emphasis in the original)
Read the opening sentence of the last paragraph one more time: "Food is therefor essentially an epigenetic modifier of gene expression..." Recently, in the field of genetics, more and more geneticists have been suggesting that there is another factor that impacts on gene expression, beyond the basic "materialistic" assumption that all expression is through the sequences of base pairs. In effect, what the Environmental Pollution (Promotion) Agency has now done is to fast-track a product whose ultimate effects are not completely known, because the model of epigenetic expression is still not completely known.
There's an expression for this; it's called "throwing the dice." Nor is this anything new for our corrupt government and the corporate crapitalists it favors:
Roundup, for instance, has demonstrated carcinogenicity in the parts per trillion range. Yet, theEPA considers it perfectly safe for consumers to ingest many orders of magnitude higher concentrations than that, proving its function as a cheerleader and not a regulator of the industry that controls our food supply.
The Atlantic, one of the only mainstream news outlets to report on the topic, pointed out how surprisingly low key the approval process was:
“The EPA’s decision attracted little attention from the press or even from environmental groups that reliably come out against new genetically modified crops.”
Bill Freese, The Center for Food Safety’s science policy analyst, told the Atlantic he was caught off guard by EPA’s decision to only allow 15 days of public comment, and the fact that it did not post its decision to the Federal Register, as it customary, especially considering how unprecedented the use of a RNAi insecticide in a plant intended for human consumption is.
Ponder that for a moment: the Environmental Pollution (Promotion) Agency allowed fifteen days of comment on a decision that has life-altering potential. Fifteen days to comment on this:
RNAi interference technology promises specificity — one RNAi molecule change equals one gene suppressed — but ignores the virtually infinite possibility of unintended, adverse effects in what are incomprehensibly complex biological systems. Indeed, researchers have warned that RNAi can not only profoundly affect gene expression, but that the changes it induces can permanently alter a species through inherited traits 1:
“Once a silencing effect is initiated, the effect may be inherited. The biochemistry of this process varies depending on the organism and remains an area of active research with many unknown aspects. Nevertheless, it is known for example that human cells can maintain the modifications necessary for TGS, creating actual or potential epigenetic inheritance within tissues and organisms (Hawkins et al., 2009). In some cases the dsRNA pathways induce RNA-dependent DNA methylation and chromatin changes (TGS) that persist through reproduction or cell division, and in other cases the cytoplasmic pathways remain active in descendents (Cogoni and Macino, 2000).”
(All emphases in the original)
IG Farbensanto strikes again, and once again, the government shows it is not on the side of reasonable caution, or the people, or a fundamental issue of food freedom. Just the corporations, and their "science". Consider the implications of this part of the article:
Surprisingly, Monsanto itself has produced one of the most damning papers on the topic yet. Several years ago I stumbled upon a study funded by Monsanto that raised a number of red flags for me. Titled, “Endogenous small RNAs in grain: Semi-quantification and sequence homology to human and animal genes,” researchers employed by Monsanto in their St. Louis, MO, laboratory analyzed the presence of endogenous small RNAs in common food and feed staples — soybeans, corn, rice — discovering that hundreds of these plant RNAs had a perfect 100% complementary match to human genes as well as other mammals.
Why is this significant? Endogenous small RNAs, such as small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and microRNAs (miRNAs), are effector molecules of RNA interference (RNAi), which is a gene suppression mechanism found in plants, mammals, and other eukaryotes. The implication, therefore, of Monsanto’s finding is that plant RNAs — were they capable of surviving digestion and accumulating in target tissues to physiologically relevant concentrations — are capable of epigenetically silencing hundreds of genes within the human body. Below you will find a list of the RNA/gene matches between rice and the human genome:
Despite the abundance of perfect 100% complementarity matches listed above, Monsanto’s conclusion was a conveniently pollyannish dismissal of the safety implications of these findings, stating that:
“The abundance of endogenous small RNA molecules in grain from safely consumed food and feed crops such as soybean, corn, and rice and the homology of a number of these dietary small RNAs to human and animal genomes and transcriptomes establishes a history of safe consumption for dietary small RNAs.”
While this may be true for traditionally used plants, it does not follow that genetically modified organisms would necessarily be safe because non-GMO versions are.
It's that last sentence that is the problem, and that has been the problem all along: the principle of "substantial equivalence" was the technique used to bypass the normal procedures of inter-generational testing on the one hand, because if it looks like corn and tastes like corn, it is corn; and on the other hand, allowed the corporations to patent their creations. In my book Genes, Giants, Monsters and Men, I argued that such genetic modifications, under the basic tenets of American - and other western - patent law could, perhaps, eventually be used to argue that a human being, who underwent such genetic modification due to eating GMOs, might eventually be viewed to a certain extent as the property of the company whose food he or she ate, since they exhibitted a modification that would otherwise not have occurred. At the very least, they might be forced to pay a "user fee" for the entirety of their lives.
That, of course, sounded ridiculous at the time. But now note this disturbing paragraph:
In a seminal paper published in 2016 in Trends in Microbiology, entitled, “How Our Other Genome Controls Our Epi-Genome,” it is proposed that the very RNAs biotech/agrochemical companies like Monsanto and Dow are tinkering with in our food should be reconsidered as part of the definition of our species versus the conventional view that it is just something informationally inert that we eat and exists “out there.” Using a revised version of Da Vinci’s Vitruvian man, as pictured below, they propose that there are 4 inseparable parts of our species: 1) human cells 2) human microbiota and other bacteria 3) Fungi and Viruses 4) Food. (Emphasis added)
See you on the flip side...
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