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Excerpt: "If this silences the same gene in us that it silences in the wheat - well, children who are born with this enzyme not working tend to die by the age of about five."

Scientists say new GMO wheat may 'silence' vital human genes. (photo: Bluemoose/Wikipedia)
Scientists say new GMO wheat may 'silence' vital human genes. (photo: Bluemoose/Wikipedia)

New GMO Wheat May 'Silence' Vital Human Genes

By Elliott Freeman, Digital Journal

11 October 12


ustralian scientists are expressing grave concerns over a new type of genetically engineered wheat that may cause major health problems for people that consume it.

University of Canterbury Professor Jack Heinemann announced the results of his genetic research into the wheat, a type developed by Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), at a press conference last month.

"What we found is that the molecules created in this wheat, intended to silence wheat genes, can match human genes, and through ingestion, these molecules can enter human beings and potentially silence our genes," Heinemann stated. "The findings are absolutely assured. There is no doubt that these matches exist."

Flinders University Professor Judy Carman and Safe Food Foundation Director Scott Kinnear concurred with Heinemann's analysis.

"If this silences the same gene in us that it silences in the wheat -- well, children who are born with this enzyme not working tend to die by the age of about five," Carman said.

Digital Journal contacted Heniemann and Kinnear for more information on their research and future actions they may take regarding this issue.

"To date we have not heard from CSIRO, nor are we aware that CSIRO has released any safety studies into the GM wheat," Kinnear said in an email response. "We are in the final stages of drafting a formal letter to CSIRO which will be requesting further information and asking for them to undertake the studies that are recommended in our reports."

According to the researchers, extended testing should be performed before the wheat is put on store shelves. "We firmly believe that long term chronic toxicological feeding studies are required in addition to the detailed requests made by Heinemann for the DNA sequences used," Kinnear stated.

"The industry routinely does feeding studies anyway, so it should not be too much more difficult to do long term (lifetime) studies and include inhalation studies," Heinemann added. "These should be tuned to the way people would be exposed to the product."

The researchers also cautioned consumers against eating the wheat if it is approved prematurely. "I would advise citizens to request that these tests be done and the evidence meet with their standards of scientific rigour if in the end it is approved for use," said Heinemann.

If the concerns surrounding CSIRO's GM wheat are not resolved, the issue could end up in court, according to Kinnear: "If CSIRO was to consider moving towards human feeding trials without conducting these studies, we would be looking at what legal avenues are available to stop them." your social media marketing partner


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+39 # WestWinds 2012-10-11 10:32
So many terrible things that the insane corporations and their representatives in our Congress are doing are not being reported anywhere in the mainstream media and are being carried exclusively in only one online outlet at any given time.

We the People are not allowed to pass on the original text of these stories because of "intellectual property rights." There is nothing "intellectual" about it; just self-serving greed and anal retentive control issues.

For these authors and their single publishers to not allow this information out is to participate whole heartedly in the corporate travesty and to own that responsibility for the wrong-doing exclusively.

Either stopping the wrong-doing means something to these writers or it doesn't. Either their country means something to these writers or it doesn't. As far as I can see, these writers and their publishers are more concerned with control issues than they are in making a contribution to getting rid of the corruption; to which I say, "Shame on you. You're bad Americans."
+75 # juliajayne 2012-10-11 10:51
All of these GMO food products need a big red sign on them. The letters GMO in a circle with a line across it would suit me.
+52 # Kootenay Coyote 2012-10-11 11:12
Just one more nail in the siamese-twin coffin of Humanity & MonSatano.
+37 # mdhome 2012-10-11 11:18
Now that is real scarey! I hope the research is done before kids start dropping dead.
+43 # RnR 2012-10-11 12:28
Don't you remember Barbara Boxer fighting against the Bush regimes' reversal of the law specifying citizens can not be exposed to chemicals or used for "testing" without their informed consent?
We lost, he (and Monsanto) won.

All hail the rise of Monsanto. Search something like "citizens exposed to chemicals without consent" and you'll get many many hits.
+57 # Kev C 2012-10-11 14:37
What you should be asking is, Why do we need these genetically modified organisms? What purpose do they serve? Are we going to die without them?

The truth is we don't need them. We won't die without them. They serve only one purpose......Pr ofit for the creators of these abominations. End of discussion.

Now why don't we invest our money and time into being more environmentally friendly and sustainable? Maybe even be a little bit more civilised towards our fellow humans instead of behaving like spoilt little children in the candy store when we are told we can't have everything we want for nothing? Its because the powers that be have educated us all into believing that we can have everything we a price. Only its not true because we will all pay a bigger price in the end.....even the powers that be. Its called 'extinction'. That's another word for 'payback'.
-54 # 666 2012-10-11 11:21
what gene? what enzyme? give me some real information -- not this vague fear crap.

try writing an article when you have something to say
+15 # RnR 2012-10-11 12:22
any gene, the point being that it *will* happen. Which gene is not the issue.
-22 # ericlipps 2012-10-11 14:32
Quoting RnR:
any gene, the point being that it *will* happen. Which gene is not the issue.

Of course it is. Plenty of genes can be "silenced" without harm (in every human being, most genes are "silent" most of the time). And, um, by the way--people aren't wheat, so there's no certainty that any gene will be silenced in humans.

That's not to say caution isn't warranted, but panic isn't.
+49 # RnR 2012-10-11 23:31
I'm sorry to disagree. It is a universal failure of mankind to assume that because he can see to the end of his bulbous nose there isn't anything beyond.

Honeybees for thousands of years lived and thrived. A couple hundred years after mankinds' greedy selves decided they could do it better we're on the brink of honeybee extinction. And nobody's worried. There's the intelligence level of mankind.
+44 # Kev C 2012-10-11 14:30
As the reply said it matters not what gene or enzyme.
But to give you something by way of an explanation let me draw your attention to a few simple facts. The scientists involved in this research are waiting for the full research papers and are waiting for the full DNA sequences used. Without those they cannot give a full and thorough assessment so it would be unwise at this stage to start listing the exact components until they knew exactly how many components there were that could cause adverse effects in humans and/or agricultural livestock or the natural environment. Then there is also the intellectual property rights of the creators of this little nightmare to consider. Put in a nutshell this equates to the researchers not being able to say precisely what the problem is without violating the patent protections etc and if they did then they would be sued and all the proof they had would become null and void because to further perpetuate it would also be a violation of the creators intellectual property rights. So how do we get to know what is dangerous and what is not?
Difficult to do when the corporations run the planet. However as one posted comment on here said 'It will take a massive human tragedy, a big die-off or epidemic of illness caused by disrupting our body chemistry, that overwhelms hospitals and morgues, to put the brakes on these heedless immoral greedmongers.'
Unfortunately it will not stop them. There is no profit in a healthy nation.
+4 # Jaysson Brae 2012-10-14 15:13
@666 -- Are you a real dummy? Or do you just play one on this website?

The peer-review scientific info on these GMO dangers is readily available via a few simple Google searches.

Try making comments when you have something (useful) to say, 666.
+47 # Citizen Mike 2012-10-11 11:27
It will take a massive human tragedy, a big die-off or epidemic of illness caused by disrupting our body chemistry, that overwhelms hospitals and morgues, to put the brakes on these heedless immoral greedmongers. What did Marx say about capitalists selling the rope with which they will be hanged?

I am no Marxist but that comment rings the bell as a description of how greed for short-term profits storms ahead regardless of the human cost.
+41 # WolfTotem 2012-10-11 11:58

All studies that show up GM risks have long been subject to systematic attack. Yet, there’s only one satisfactory response to such studies: carefully designed and well publicized INDEPENDENT research that incorporates all the necessary safeguards, to check their findings and confirm or refute them. Patents and industrial secrecy are often invoked to prevent such work.

In France, recent studies by Gilles-Eric Séralini on the toxicity of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide and GMO NK 603 corn have provoked violent reactions. He and his colleagues are only the latest researchers to have triggered well-orchestrat ed campaigns of abuse, using the science media to publish the barrage of criticism but not the case for the defense.

As for regulators like the FDA, most simply endorse the industry’s protocols which make little or no provision for detecting negative effects of GMOs.

REMEMBER WHEN YOU VOTE: GOP wants what its paymasters want. All regulators and regulation to be neutered or thrown out. Safety and safety nets are for bankers, not the likes of us.
+26 # Kev C 2012-10-11 14:43
Its about time they enforced the precautionary principle. If they cannot prove emphatically that something is safe then it remains in the hermetically sealed laboratory..... along with its creators.
Now that solves a multitude of problems. :)

All except the election one that is.

People have short memories. They quickly forget that the big friendly giant of a candidate touting for their votes is still the big bad wolf they met last time around only wearing a different smile.

When you take the corporation funding out of politics and restrict corporate involvement in politics then you go some way to making the process more democratic. Unfortunately there is always some jackass who thinks that everyone is a commie or out to get them/the US/their money etc etc etc and so we end up with someone else stumping up to raise the jackasses issues and make them a campaign issue. Nowt like a good conspiracy theory to drum up support for the wackiest policies on Earth.
Guess who pays for them too? :)
+29 # hoodwinkednomore 2012-10-11 14:21
I am with JuliaJayne! Labeling: GMOs added with a big circle around it and and maybe an elongated skull and cross bones through it!
+35 # Street Level 2012-10-11 14:45
Which means that while Australia is researching this for a possible ban, the United States will be planting this here by the tons.
+28 # worldviewer 2012-10-12 16:10
Do we really need more research? Basic Common sense tells us that our bodies are genetically programmed to deal with whole foods found in nature.
Fracturing foods affects our digestion, reducing genetic diversity endangers our food supply and food plants with defective genes are genetic poisons.
If you can spell it out more clearly do it!
+5 # hbheinze 2012-10-13 13:22
Amen!! You've summed it up perfectly!!
+2 # clegwat 2012-10-14 13:33
Can this silencing of genes transfer from wheat to species other than humans? Like if a cow is fed the wheat, then the human eats the beef from that cow can the silencing still affect the human genes? I can see if this wheat is found to not be fit for human consumption that the company will still try to make a profit off of it by using it in animal feed and allowing a possible transfer to humans through the food chain. Is this possible?
-2 # Sorgfelt 2012-10-14 15:47
Most or all of the food that we ingest is broken down by our digestive system. Cell walls further limit what the cell can take in. All of this prevents gene modification by what we eat. This is why scientists use viruses to carry genes into cells for therapy and genetic modification in general. So, while I agree that Monsanto's style and rationale for genetic modification is very bad, and makes me very angry, and question the reasons for this genetic modification of wheat, I don't think it will cause us harm. However, I will change my mind, if someone can give me good scientific evidence for it.
0 # bensabio 2012-10-14 19:50
Just to let you know that I have replied to your challenge to fill in some scientific gaps in your thoughtful but incomplete account, but did so in a separate comment which will hopefully be approved and displayed a few boxes down.
0 # carp 2012-10-14 17:18
Better yet is there such as thing as a label that states NO GMO used in this product. Might be a way to get around the GMO labeling fight. But then again are there any products organic products made without GMO products?
+2 # bensabio 2012-10-14 19:24
@Sorgfelt: a little more online searching would clarify some points here: the relevant material from these GM wheat products is not the genetic material (DNA) itself, but small inhibitory RNA (siRNA) molecules (produced by the modified wheat genes) that can, indeed, pass through the digestive system and into body cells. The effect of this "gene silencer" on the wheat plant is supposedly to prevent synthesis of "easy to digest" starch, considered less healthy than the more difficult to digest version, or so the propietors would like to have us believe so they can promote their GM wheat at premium prices. It turns out that the wheat gene that is silenced has matching sequences to human genes involved in glycogen production, essential for human health, and inherited dysfunction of these genes is known to be fatal, according to the scientists in the video. So the scenario of concern is that siRNA molecules from such ingested GM wheat might enter human liver cells, inhibit genes responsible for normal glycogen synthesis, causing sickness or worse. Since the actual genetic sequence used for the GM wheat is not being revealed by the proprietors, no one can independently verify whether this concern is empirically well founded, or is just an extremely likely speculation from strong circumstantial evidence. For supporting information, see:
+3 # Kimc 2012-10-14 23:25
i would like to see these things tested on the executives of Monsanto and Dupont and whatever other companies are producing them. surely we should see video of them eating their own product before we do.
+5 # Kimc 2012-10-14 23:26
Is this someone's attempt to control the excess population?
+1 # Christopher-Robin 2012-10-15 09:40
Monsanto, who's stock has been dropping lately, tried to introduce GM Wheat back in, I think 2004, to American and Canadian farmers. They rejected it because they sell most of their product to other countries, about 80% actually. Most of the buying countries would not have bought the wheat. That was egg on Monsanto's beard, and the beginning of popular outcry against them. Wheat was a poor choice for Genetic Modification because it has few problems. Therefore any GMO Wheat is just again a ploy to control the food system and peoples lives. Tyranny through food. All that money waste4d could better be spent on, say, Organic Gardening. Go organic and die naturally.

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