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The Double Edged Sword GMO Experimentation Presentation by Andre Leu Chair, Organic Federation of Australia at the Food Safety and Sustainability Forum.

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Presentation on theme: "The Double Edged Sword GMO Experimentation Presentation by Andre Leu Chair, Organic Federation of Australia at the Food Safety and Sustainability Forum."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Double Edged Sword GMO Experimentation Presentation by Andre Leu Chair, Organic Federation of Australia at the Food Safety and Sustainability Forum Sydney, March 2010 Slides By Jeffrey M. Smith, Executive Director, Institute for Responsible Technology

2 How does Genetic Engineering work? 1.The perception - Only a single gene with a desired trait is inserted into a plant 2.The Reality – A transgenic construct of several gene sequences is inserted These include: viral promoters genes antibiotic marker genes junk DNA

3 Gene construct Regulatory sequence: on/off switch Coding sequence of a gene Regulatory sequence: Termination signal Plasmid backbone DNA, superfluous genetic material e.g. Bt toxin gene from soil bacterium often CaMV (virus) e.g. from pea

4 Identify cells with incorporated genes Only transformed cells survive Test for markers Add antibiotic

5 Antibiotic Resistant Genes IT WOULD BE A SERIOUS HEALTH HAZARD TO INTRODUCE A GENE THAT CODES FOR ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE INTO THE NORMAL FLORA OF THE GENERAL POPULATION. US FDA Director, Division of Anti-infective Drug Products

6 Horizontal Transfer of Antibiotic Resistant Genes Many scientists warned about the dangers of these genes transferring to other organisms through horizontal gene transfer GMO industry stated that this could not happen

7 Transfer of transgenes to gut bacteria is optimized Bacterial sequences are easier to transfer to bacteriaBacterial sequences are easier to transfer to bacteria The genes promoter works in bacteriaThe genes promoter works in bacteria

8 What can transfer? Promoter Antibiotic resistant marker Roundup Ready genes Viral genes Bt gene

9 Horizontal Gene Transfer 1.Many Scientists are concerned about the horizontal transfer of the CaMV promoter virus into other virus – CaMV – Cauliflower Mosaic Virus 2.The potential to create new transgenic viruses of unknown consequences The swine flu virus H1N1 is an example of a natural transgenic construct with avian, swine and human virus sequences – this would have occurred through natural horizontal gene transfer

10 Horizontal Gene Transfer 1.Many Scientists are concerned about the horizontal transfer of the CaMV promoter virus into other virus – CaMV – Cauliflower Mosaic Virus 2.The potential to create new transgenic viruses of unknown consequences The swine flu virus H1N1 is an example of a natural transgenic construct with avian, swine and human virus sequences – this would have occurred through natural horizontal gene transfer

11 Horizontal Gene Transfer - CaMV This CaMV promoter is also known to work for genes all across the living world: in plants, bacteria, fungi, and, as we discovered recently in the literature more than 10 years old, also in frog eggs and human cells. It is able to substitute, in part or in whole, for the promoter of many other viruses. Viruses are not only everywhere in the environment, they also lie dormant in the genomes of all organisms, bacteria, plants and animals without exception. And there is evidence that such dormant viruses can be reactivated as a result of genetic recombination. Dr. Mae-Wan Ho– Union of Concerned Scientists

12 Horizontal Gene Transfer - CaMV What is most concerning with this is that this viral promoter gene and other GM constructs have escaped into the wild relatives of GMO plants also contaminated a sizeable proportion of non GMO crops like corn, canola and soybeans. Transferred into gut bacteria The potential danger is being completely ignored by regulatory authorities, with no ongoing research looking at these potential pathogenic transgenic viruses and bacteria.

13 The process of creating a GM crop creates unpredicted changes in DNA and plant composition

14 Allergens Toxins New diseases Nutritional problems US FDA Agency scientists warned of:

15 Disruption of gene networks July 1, 2007, New York Times: The presumption that genes operate independently has been institutionalized.... It is the economic and regulatory foundation on which the entire biotechnology industry is built. The presumption that genes operate independently has been institutionalized.... It is the economic and regulatory foundation on which the entire biotechnology industry is built. Evidence of a networked genome shatters the scientific basis for virtually every official risk assessment of todays commercial biotech products. Evidence of a networked genome shatters the scientific basis for virtually every official risk assessment of todays commercial biotech products. Yet to date, every attempt to challenge safety claims for biotech products has been categorically dismissed, or derided as unscientific. Yet to date, every attempt to challenge safety claims for biotech products has been categorically dismissed, or derided as unscientific.

16 First GM Crop FlavrSavr Tomato

17 Yuk! Rats refused to eat the tomato

18 After 28 days 7 of 20 rats developed stomach lesions7 of 20 rats developed stomach lesions Another 7 of 40 died within 2 weeksAnother 7 of 40 died within 2 weeks Industry study

19 GM potatoes damaged rats (10 or 110 days) Rats developed Potentially pre-cancerous cell growth in the digestive tract Smaller brains, livers and testicles Partial atrophy of the liver, and Immune system damage Lancet, 1999 & others

20 Intestinal Wall Non-GMGM

21 Stomach lining Non-GMGM

22 Rats ate Bt corn (90 days) Indicators for Liver and kidney toxicity Blood pressure problems, allergies, infections or disease, higher blood sugar and anemia Monsanto study

23 Mice had an immune response to GM pea protein Agricultural Food Chemistry, 2005

24 Chickens fed Liberty Link corn died at twice the rate Industry study

25 Mice Fed GM SoyMice fed GM soy Pancreas Reduced digestive enzymes Altered cell structure Altered gene expression Journal of Anatomy, 2002 European Journal of Histochemistry, 2003

26 Mice fed GM soy Liver Cells damaged Altered gene expression Higher metabolic activity (suggesting toxic insult) Cell Structure and Function, 2002

27 Mice livers ControlGM-fed Hepatocyte Nuclei

28 Mice livers ControlGM-fed Hepatocyte Nuclei

29 Rat Livers C, D – GM-soy group А, B – control group A B C D Dr. Irina Ermakova

30 Mice fed GM soy Testicular cells had altered structure and function European Journal of Histochemistry, 2004

31 Rat testicles Contro l GM soy fed GM-soy Control

32 Offspring of Mice Fed GM Soy Young embryos from GM-fed parents had temporary decrease in gene expression In press

33 Mortality of rat pups Control GM-soyNon-GM soy First Generation Irina Ermakova,

34 GM-soy group Ermakova Irina, Mortality of rat offspring for one day Control Non- GM soy GM-soy

35 Rat litters at 9-days from mothers fed non-GM or GM soy. Non-GM soy group GM-soy group Irina Ermakova,

36 19-day old rats Larger rat is from control group; smaller from GM-soy group. Irina Ermakova,

37 Preliminary evidence Rat offspring did not conceive

38 When the entire Russian facility began using GM soy-based feed, infant mortality for all rats hit 55.3%.

39 Killed about 100 and caused 5,000-10,000 to fall sick L-tryptophan produced by GM bacteria

40 The epidemic was discovered because the disease 1. Was new, with unique symptoms 2. Acute 3. Came on quickly

41 Conclusion There is a need to do peer reviewed science on GM especially in the following areas. Feeding trials CaMV and other viral and bacterial gene segments and horizontal gene transfer Systems approach – genes working as sequence – what happened when this is disrupted by inserting new DNA Instability of the transgenes especially the promoters within the genome Alterations to RNA sequences when coding proteins

42 Acknowlegdements Most of these Slides come from a comprehensive GMO presentation by Jeffrey M. Smith, Executive Director, Institute for Responsible Technology werPointPresentations/index.cfmhttp://www.responsibletechnology.org/GMFree/TakeAction/Po werPointPresentations/index.cfm For more information on these issues, please read GM the Hidden Science on the OFA website Papers.htmlhttp://www.ofa.org.au/pages/Reports-%7B47%7D-Industry- Papers.html


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