Scientists Discover End Run Around GMO Regulations
By Brandon Turbeville
It appears that the religion of Scientism is finally experiencing phsase 2 of any religion. That phase in which the adherents begin to lose sight of what even the originator or focus of their religion stood for or opposed and now becomes focused on promoting or perpetuating and defending the dogma surrounding it.
The danger and legitimacy of GMOs no longer being in question for those who have latched themselves to the snake oil wagon, some scientists and researchers are no longer interested in determining the safety or usefulness of those organisms but are attempting to develop means of avoiding the regulation of their promotion.
Research done by scientists at Seoul National University in South Korea, is a perfect example of this. In this series of experiments, scientists are now able to edit a genome using viral RNA in a very precise fashion. The process known as CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) involves the application to a genome using a bacterium as a vehicle. The new process, however, as developed by the Seoul researchers involves the introduction of the RNA to the genome without using agrobacterium as the vehicle. With the new process, the editing of the genome would be the same. In other words, researchers are able to knock out the genes they want to remove. Only the delivery technique is slightly different.
Because CRISPR is traditionally conducted using a bacterium vehicle, CRISPR-modified genomes come under GMO regulations which are enforced by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the agricultural department.
These regulations are applied when a “plant pest” is introduced into a genome that is pre-existing. The bacterium is what is regulated as a plant pest.
With the elimination of the bacterium as a vehicle, the genetic modification process would be able to be conducted without GMO regulations. Essentially this means, that the researchers have discovered a way to genetically modify organisms without having to follow GMO regulations.
But what is most interesting about this research is not the development of the new procedure, but of the goals of the research itself – the ability to genetically modify organisms without regulation. This is not an assumption made or implied about the motives of the researchers, it is stated explicitly by the research team and in all of the mainstream reports surrounding it.
“In terms of science, our approach is just another improvement in the field of genome editing, however, in terms of regulations and public acceptance, our method could be path-breaking,” says geneticist Jin-Soo Kim.
As Noah Feldman writes for Bloomberg View, “if this sentence doesn’t bother you, it should. The researchers were openly acknowledging that the point of their efforts is to work around existing GMO regulations.”
And they might even conceivably be right about the law. In 2011, APHIS issued an official notice that excluded a genetically engineered form of Kentucky bluegrass from its regulatory scope. The reasoning was that the agency was only authorized to regulate “plant pests,” which includes bacteria like those usually used to introduce CRISPR because the genetically engineered bluegrass was created by a different technique that didn’t introduce bacteria, APHIS said it wasn’t covered.
Feldman also points out that the dangers of genetic modification surrounding CRISPR does not depend on the use of bacteria but what is referred to as “off-target effects.” Basically, CRISPR removes genes selected by the researchers but it can also remove other genes that they did not intend to remove. In other words, the process is not entirely exact and can produce unintended and unknown consequences.
Nevertheless, researchers seem to have found a way to avoid even the scant regulations that exist. There will be no doubt that major corporations will immediately begin to take advantage of this research and of the ignorance of the general public who will be the guinea pigs and hapless consumers.
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Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of six books,Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 500 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.