Project News and Views
There is now a substantial collection of scientific papers describing various forms of commonplace gene-editing errors. GM Watch has compiled a reference list of these papers (each with a summary of their import) here:https://gmwatch.org/en/news/latest-news/19223
The imprecision of gene-editing has important implications for biosafety. These collected papers indicate that the media, biotechnologists, policy makers and regulators have underestimated the risks arising from gene-edited GMOs created for use in agriculture, as well as risks arising from gene-editing’s proposed environmental and clinical uses.
Synopsis: As Wallace describes, “this century we’ve already trainspotted novel strains of African swine fever, Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, Cyclospora, Ebola, E. coli O157:H7, foot-and-mouth disease, hepatitis E, Listeria, Nipah virus, Q fever, Salmonella, Vibrio, Yersinia, Zika, and a variety of novel inﬂuenza A variants, including H1N1 (2009), H1N2v, H3N2v, H5N1, H5N2, H5Nx, H6N1, H7N1, H7N3, H7N7, H7N9, and H9N2.”
Yet each time governments did nothing “real” to prevent the arrival of the next potential pandemic. Nothing, that is, to identify the roots of how and why these pathogens arise and spread, and uproot them. Instead, as this would mean tackling industrial agriculture and large corporations, “authorities spent a sigh of relief upon each ones reversal, and immediately took the next roll of the epidemiological dice, risking snake eyes of maximum virulence and transmissibility.”
Read the full article on Independent Science News: We Need to Connect the 2019-nCoV Coronavirus to Agriculture
Rob Wallace, PhD is the author of: Big Farms Make Big Flu “In Big Farms Make Big Flu, a collection of dispatches by turns harrowing and thought-provoking, Wallace tracks the ways influenza and other pathogens emerge from an agriculture controlled by multinational corporations…..Big Farms Make Big Flu integrates the political economies of disease and science to derive a new understanding of the evolution of infections. ” He also offers solutions.
Another Disease Outbreak Threatens U.S. Pigs, But Big Ag Would Rather Talk About Bacon Prices by Martha Rosenberg
By Million Belay and Timothy Wise
Million Belay is the coordinator of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa.
Timothy A. Wise directs the Land and Food Rights Program at the U.S.-based Small Planet Institute and is a Senior Researcher at Tufts University’s Global Development and Environment Institute. Wise is the author of Eating Tomorrow: Agribusiness, Family Farmers, and the Battle for the Future of Food (The New Press).
Synopsis: Japanese researchers have discovered that standard methods of animal and plant gene-editing introduce DNA from unexpected sources. They found DNA from the E.coli genome (a bacterium) and from the cow genome, along with goat DNA, incorporated into the genomes of their edited mouse cells They traced this adventitious presence to contaminants of standard components of the gene-editing process, such as cell culture media. The discovery suggests, for example, that present methods of gene-editing can transmit genetic elements, viruses, and other pathogenic agents between species. The findings have very important implications for biosecurity and for the regulation of gene-editing.
Published on Monday, Aug 12th, 2019 by Independent Science News is a new article: FDA Finds Unexpected Antibiotic Resistance Genes in ‘Gene-Edited’ Dehorned Cattle written by Jonathan Latham, PhD and Allison Wilson, PhD.
Synopsis: New research published by officials of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has discovered that foreign DNA can become inadvertently introduced into the genomes of gene-edited animals. Gene-editing techniques are widely considered to offer substantial improvements, in terms of precision, over older genetic engineering techniques. But the new FDA research shows that foreign DNA can become inadvertently incorporated, in this case unbeknownst to the developer. The findings are a significant blow to the argument that gene-editing should not be subject to regulation and represent a vindication of the EU approach, which is to regulate gene-edited organisms as GMOs.
Published August 8, 2019, in Independent Science News:
The 9% Lie: Industrial Food and Climate Change a new article by Ronnie Cummins
Synopsis: As the result of a joint calculation, the USDA and the US EPA have begun claiming that US agricultures’ contribution to the climate crisis represents 9% of total national green house gas emissions. The size of this number is hugely important in terms of where to search for climate solutions. According to the author these estimates are smokescreens and the true number is approximately 5-6 fold higher. In other words, most US greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture and the food sector. This low-balling is very convenient for the commercial interest groups that benefit from the wasteful status quo of the US food system.
Author: Ronnie Cummins is the co-founder and International Director of the Organic Consumers Association. He is also the founder of Via Orgánica, a network of organic consumers and farmers based in Mexico.
Read the full article at: https://www.independentsciencenews.org/environment/the-9-lie-industrial-food-and-climate-change/