The danger of CRISPR gene editing technology used in food or even humans
How do I explain, in simple terms, what CRISPR is? It is a DNA cut and paste method where one rearranges DNA components. Technically, this is not the same as the original GMO method which cut genes from different species and places the genes into the target species.
Monsanto originally modified the soybean by inserting a gene from a fungus tolerant to Roundup, into the soybean genome. This is called “transgenic,” for transfer of genes. The CRISPR method cuts and pastes genes from the same organism and (in the US) is not considered a Genetically Modified Organism (GMO).
However, the EU Court of Justice has ruled that plants created using novel genome editing methods will be classed as genetically modified organisms and therefore have to follow the strict EU guidelines for GMOs.
To me, it sounds like playing God and the outcome is not known. What are the future consequences of doing this? Humans are always trying to improve on nature and in our modern world there are enough bad examples of human mistakes to make us actually stop, but that is not happening.
What are Frankenfoods?
I have written in the past about Frankenfoods. You will probably already have heard about them and how they have invaded our daily life yet we are not really conscious about it. A lot of foods we eat are made with genetically modified ingredients and we do not know what these type of foods do to our health in the long run.
The first food which had a gene change
The first genetically modified food to hit the market was the FLAVR SAVR tomato in 1994. You may ask how scientists modified this tomato? Normally produce is picked while still green and artificially ripening by ethylene treatment once they reach the stores. This is done so that it can be transported longer distances and not get overripe.
That is a shame as, when it is not picked ripe, it has not completely developed all the good things a sun-ripened fruit can have. The researchers found the gene which is responsible for ripening and introduced a “reverse orientation copy of the gene” which allowed the plant to be harvested when ripe but not soften as quickly.
This improved freshness, a better flavor, and the fruit would spoil less. Even if this product was in high demand it never became a profitable event because of the high production and distribution cost. To me, it sounds very much as interfering with a natural process which has served humanity since the beginning of agriculture.
How Monsanto uses CRISPR to wiggle out of the responsibility for GMO labeling
Monsanto is now using CRISPR technology to alter the genome of the horrible Frankenfoods they are creating. It is standing on the shelves of your supermarket and without realizing it you might be eating it every day. The problem is that organisms altered with CRISPR technology are not technically classified as GMOs.
Instead of using genes from different species, engineers at Monsanto used tissue culture selection and a chemical mutagen to modify the gene. Technically, this is not the same method and is how Monsanto and other large food producers can escape GMO restrictions (so far).
Know the companies you buy your food from
Here comes a link to a very extensive list where you can see the companies to avoid and their related products. These are GMO Supporting Food Companies you better avoid. I am afraid the list is long and might not be easy to remember when you go shopping.
Technology is coming to your aid with a very clever App. Buycott – Barcode Scanner and QR Bar Code Scanner. You could download that on your phone and have the information always at your finger tips.
How about some genetically modified children?
Science has not stopped at making Frankenstein foods, which are bad for our health. No, science is always marching forward and is now working to genetically edit children. I do not know if you heard this story about the Chinese scientist who did just that.
In late November of 2018, this news spread like a wildfire and shocked people worldwide. Chinese scientist He Jiankui declared he was involved in the birth of the first genetically edited children.
The side effect of this experiment
The reason why this was done in the first place was to protect the babies from HIV. When this became known worldwide it caused quite a shock also in the scientific community. Not everybody liked the idea. Would we have the ability, with this cut and paste procedure, to modify our offspring to ensure they are male, or that they have blue eyes or small noses?
How far do you think people would go to make sure their children are beautiful? Scientists estimate that there are around 20.000 genes in our DNA strand. Do we know what each one does? Do we know that there isn’t a requirement for a duplicate to be located in more than one location for the gene to be successful? More importantly, do we know for certain that this modification won’t cause serious harm?
There is a reason to believe that the brain of these twin girls might have been changed as a side effect after their genes were modified before birth by the new editing tool CRISPR. Tests in mice have shown that after going through the same procedure they became smarter. This could mean the girls might do very well at school.
The University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen becomes famous
He Jiankui is an associated professor at the China Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen. After the widespread reaction, he put his future work on hold. Since then China has tightened the rules on gene editing in humans and scientists and institutions could expect severe penalties if they should break those new rules.
The reason to not make the girls suffer like their father was why Professor He Jiankui tried this experiment, that is at least what he told the press. China was not happy with it and he might well see a trial and perhaps face imprisonment. Even if most scientists think it is too early for these type of manipulations there are scientists who support him. The scientific community is afraid that this uncontrolled action can influence the future investigation on genetically modified babies. Time will tell.
There is not sufficient data available to reassure us that all this fiddling with nature will not end with having disastrous effects for the environment and our foods supply. We already experience a sharp decline in the overall health of the population.
To start modifying humans is taking the CRISPR technology quite some steps further. If the scientific community does not abide by the highest ethical principles in the future, our earth could be populated by a new Frankenstein race. Let us hope it will not happen.
Source: NaturalHealth365, an article written by Dena Schmidt, staff writer, December 10, 2018
Photo Source: Pixabay
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