If you combine GM, a Monsanto-toxic environment full of mutagens, nanotechnology
and wild microbiology, we’re in for a Franken-future!
Genetic Engineering, 1976
I took a look at Genetic Engineering (GE) in 1976 while doing a Bachelor of Science degree in biological sciences. And wrote a review on the subject. Scientists of the day were urging caution and a 20-year moratorium on GE until its long-term safety could be assessed. But market forces did not want to be held back from the billion-dollar gleams in their eyes….So the real scientists’ caution of the day went out the window subsequently and GE (aka Genetic Modification, or GM) immediately went ahead without a proper society-wide review of the potential harm of this technology.
As a cross-disciplinary biologist, it seems to me we are just asking for trouble on a scale that is horrific beyond imagining. I do not ring alarm bells for the sake of just being ‘anti’. There are very good biological reasons why GE running rampant, powered by profit, is a scenario to examine. And why I connect GM, toxins, nanotechnology and microbes.
A list of facts for you to research and ponder the interactions:
– We constantly release into the environment vast quantities of toxins that are known to mutate DNA (read “sickness”, “cancer” and “birth defects”). Monsanto’s Roundup is one of the most widespread of these mutagens in use globally today (and on vast areas of GM crops especially). Pesticides including Roundup have been found in every living tissue (including ours) and every environment over the whole planet, including Antarctica, the tops of remote mountains and in deep jungles – nowhere escapes. After all, we have just one dynamic atmosphere, and all water is connected. Roundup does NOT break down in a couple of days to safe products as per the lies Monsanto propagates. Monsanto are not the only ones culpable of course (the fossil fuel industry is behind much because chemicals are made out of oil), but they are perhaps the biggest publicly-known player, with fingers in every pie… and their funding is probably in every university and research institute by now.
– GM breaks down the natural genetic boundaries between different species, eg. when you put fluorescence-making jellyfish genes into a rabbit to make it glow green, human genes into pigs to grow organs…. it opens the way for unregulated mix ‘n’ match among the living things of Earth that spent millions of years intentionally keeping themselves intact by not mixing.
– Microbes are genetically very promiscuous. They can take in and release and swap bits of DNA. They can quickly mutate (especially in mutagenic environments), quickly adapt to new environments (including inside humans), and quickly reproduce. Viruses insert their own genetic material (DNA or RNA) into our DNA, then exit when they are ready to spread themselves to new hosts. But in exiting, they can not only leave behind in our DNA some of the genes they brought in, but also take bits of DNA that are not theirs. Thus they can leave behind a genetic booby trap in us, and spread same to the next living thing they infect. They are uncontrollable, wild carriers of genetically-modified DNA between species, into humans and the plants and animals we rely on for food.
– Laboratory workers are covered in and full of natural human symbiotic microbes, plus a variety of passing neutrals and pathogens (cold viruses, flu viruses, skin, gut and respiratory bacteria, microscopic fungi, protists, etc). These organisms can pick up genes being used in the lab and in GM animals being handled. I know from years in laboratory research that safety protocols are inconsistent at best.
– NANOPARTICLES are smaller than anything the human or animal body evolved with. Our immune systems don’t have a clue. Nanoparticles (and their A-I kin the nano-machines including the upcoming class of artificial biological nano-machines eg ‘molecular motors’) do things, in a mechanical parallel of the way molecules, microbes and cells do things. They make stuff, break stuff, change stuff at the molecular level including DNA, and our immune systems can do nothing about them. And there are no (or weak, inadequate) regulations requiring human safety testing or labeling of foods that contain nanoparticles…
– NOTHING STAYS CONTAINED. And I mean NOTHING!!!!! Modified organisms, bits of DNA, deadly toxins, etc will ALWAYS escape confinement from laboratories. This is simply Nature, and human safety protocols are very fallible due to: funding restrictions, aging equipment, building damage (fires, floods, earthquakes, renovations, bombings), design faults, politics, inconsistent policies, variable enforcement, slack attitudes, ignorance, erratic and inconsistent record-keeping, electronic corruption, sheer volume of information, cutting corners in stiff competitive environments, disagreements, procrastination, language barriers, hacking of DNA files electronically, intentional sabotage and terrorism, increasing ease of back-yard synthesis, and just plain fading memories with the passage of time.
Can you picture gene-splicing nano-machines getting loose from the lab, into a field full of genetically-modified plants plastered with mutagenic pesticides, eaten by virus- and bacteria-laden bugs and wild animals, spread in dust and sluiced by rain into the Earth’s water cycle, carrying microbes with GM genes that can jump ship at any time…. or be spliced by nano-machines into whatever living organisms they come in contact with…?
If our babies are born fluoro green with bug eyes, rat tails, pig whiskers and corn spikes all over their skin, what worth are today’s multinational corporation profits and ‘jobs’ to us? However if you include karma, it might be poetic justice for today’s unscrupulous and dismissive corporation executives, researchers and decision-makers, and people who fail to call ‘enough is enough’, to be tomorrow’s children. And a huge wake-up call for a Humanity that has not been heeding all the gentler wake-up calls we’ve been given to date.
P.S. If I’m found dead in a ditch, die soon of ‘natural causes’ or ‘an accident’, disappear without a trace, get hacked, become the target of a disgusting smear campaign in the media, or fall silent, blackmailed with threats to other people, you’ll know where to point the finger!!