It is one of the only major food crops left without a genetically-modified (GM) counterpart, but this could soon change if the Australian government gets its way in approving a GM wheat variety developed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), an agency of the Australian government. Despite being hailed by its creators as a breakthrough in food production technology, the GM wheat crop itself, when ingested, has the potential to permanently alter the human genome by silencing hundreds of genes throughout the body.
This disturbing fact, of course, makes GM wheat a major public health threat, which is why a number of scientific experts are urging extreme caution with the human trial and commercial approval process. During a recent press conference with Safe Food Foundation Director Scott Kinnear, two prominent authorities on the subject discussed the inherent dangers of GM wheat, and how the “Frankencrop” threatens to seriously injure and even kill untold numbers of people who could experience dramatic genetic alterations as a result of consumption.
“What we found is that the molecules created in this wheat, intended to silence wheat genes, can match human genes,” explains Professor Jack Heinemann, a Molecular Biologist at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, about the dangers of CSIRO’s untested GM wheat. “And through ingestion, these molecules can enter human beings and potentially silence our genes.”
Heinemann goes on to explain that he and his team have already identified more than 770 pages’ worth of potential matches between two specific genes in the GM wheat and genes inherent in the human genome that could be altered by them. Beyond this, more than a dozen matches were found to be identical and “sufficient to cause silencing in experimental systems,” according to Heinemann.
You can watch the complete press release here:
GM wheat can pass genetic flaws from generation to generation
The immediate threats of consuming GM wheat are quite substantial, in other words, and illustrate the enormous consequences that can result from tampering with nature at the genetic level. But even worse are the generational consequences that can result from consuming GMOs in general, and specifically the GM wheat in question.
“If this genetic modification in the wheat is absorbed into the human body and affects humans in the same way that it affects the wheat, then it’ll mean that there will be some significant changes in the way that we store our carbohydrate, our glucose, in the body, and that could have dire consequences,” adds Prof. Judy Carman, a biochemist and Director of the Institute of Health and Environmental Research (IHER) at Flinders University in Australia.
“We need to make what’s called glycogen in the body in order to be able to live, in order to be able to wake up in the morning after an overnight fast and to be able to have a burst of energy to run across a road. And if this silences the same sort of gene in us as it silences in the wheat, then children who are born with this enzyme not working tend to die by the age of about five, and adults with this problem just get kind of more and more sick and more and more tired until they get very, very ill.”
Back in 2011, Greenpeace activists actually destroyed a farm growing experimental GM wheat produced by CSIRO. As reported by COSMOS magazine, the protestors entered the farm near Canberra on July 14 and proceeded to mow down fields of GM wheat intended for human trials. As of this writing, not a single meaningful safety test has been conducted on GM wheat as CSIRO appears more concerned with potential profits than with human safety.
Be sure to check out the Greenpeace report on CSIRO’s GM wheat entitled The biotech takeover of our daily bread:
Sources for this article include: