Nature - flawed, imperfect, badly designed & nothing more than a bundle of compromises - No problem, we can fix that
(common worldview of our natural world by today's version of Biotechnology Science)
|Image: © freshidea / Dollar Photo Club.|
University of Vermont: Summary of Concerns about Transgenic Crops
|Corn anthers - University of Missouri|
Over here in Europe, many have been concerned about local honey bees being effected not only by the plethora synthetic chemical pesticides aside from potential harm from GMO plant pollen itself. Much of the debates over regulations have been coming since 2005 when an amateur beekeeper Karl Heinz Bablok discovered that his honey was contaminated with pollen from a nearby trial site of Monsanto’s 810 GM maize, which was being grown by the Bavarian state. Obviously the health of consumers was also a concern and how would the public health be effected if they ate this honey. A challenge to existing EU laws on labeling could make it impossible to know if your honey is contaminated with GMO pollen. The bottom line is that there were many legitimate concerns in the beginning despite powerful Biotech lobbying to dismiss such concerns.
Further Areas of Concern not normally discussed or addressed
|image: Ashley Watson|
|images: Beneficial Solutions LLC|
Aside from Agrobacterium causing tumors in plants through a gene transfer from a foreign DNA, as a reminder, this is the same method that has been used in the past for the genetic engineering manipulation of corn, soybeans, canola, sugar beets, alfalfa and other foodstuffs. However, the really spooky thing is that some recent studies have shown agrobacterium can also affect the DNA of humans. Some have connected this infection as the cause for something called Morgellons Disease. However, it should be noted that the Morgellons Disease is not only mysterious, but is also controversial as to what may be causing it. This Morgellons disease sounds more like something out of a science fiction novel than reality. There appears however to be some links to this Agrobacterium and Morgellons, but that is a subject for another time, I wanted to reference something even more serious. I'll post links below on the links between Agrobacterium and Morgellons Disease and you can decide for yourself.
Possible Wild Plant Infection with transgenic traits by means of Agrobacterium and they don't have to be related. The subject nobody seems to want to discuss.While Google searching for something else totally unrelated to any of this, I stumbled across a film title called "Seeds of Destruction" which made me think of that anti-gmo book called "Seeds of Deception". I've never read it, but seen it all over the web on the usual anti-gmo sites with all the clever Meme pictures and often exaggerated one liner quips. What I found though Google was a reference to the title of an actual "Outer Limits" [remake of old 1960s Sci-Fi Series] which had an episode called "Seeds of Destruction" (2000). I further googled the plot of the show and found a couple of fascinating points behind the subject matter of the film's story line is about a veterinarian in a small farming town who probes the links between the rash of fast-growing tumors on both animals and people and a new breed of genetically engineered corn. Gee whiz go figure. Of course in the Sci-Fi flick, the danger of tumor infection and growth is going to be sped up, exaggerated and embellished for it's sensationalism as to entertainment value. In the fictional film, no growth of tumors occurred over a long period of real world time. These particular tumors in the film's plot happen almost overnight after infection from what I presumed was the pollen from the GMO crop plants.
The official Outer Limits film plot goes like this (please keep in mind this description below is nothing more than a fictional plot explanation of a Sci-Fi episode and not anything regarding reality of an actual event which has taken place anywhere):
"Macroseed, a cutting edge biotechnology company [eerily similiar to the real world company 'Monsanto' who actually has a brand of gmo seed sold in Latin countries called 'Macro Seed'], chooses the small farming town of Hobson to test and develop TX-40. This is a new genetically-engineered strain of fast-growing corn that could increase yields and make the company millions of dollars. Linda Andrews, the veterinarian in Hobson, begins to wonder about the safety of TX-40 when a farmer brings in a dead cat from his field. The cat has horrible mutations, including a giant tumor which sprouts a fifth leg."
"Her skepticism grows deeper when terrible, inexplicable tumors begin to appear in people: Mr. Rivers, young Matt Hooper and Eddie, her mentally-disabled nephew. Linda's worry persists while her husband, Rex Andrews and her lover, Harold Zimmer, both of whom work at Macroseed, try to convince her that TX-40 is safe, warning her that her investigation might generate negative publicity that could destroy the town's new-found prosperity. With some inside help, she gets the test data from Macroseed and, with Doc Wells, begins searching for connections between the new corn and the mutations."
"Harold reassures Linda that TX-40 cannot have spread to humans, but she finds out that it has spread from the corn to milkweed plants, and then from the milkweed plants to people who had an increased amount of growth hormone: Old Man Rivers was taking hormone supplements, and the teen Hooper was in the middle of a growth spurt. Linda and the local doctor, Doctor Cooper, confront Harold with the truth. He reveals that he knows, but the company will continue to produce the corn. He shoots Doc Cooper and is about to kill Linda when her husband, Rex, knocks Harold out. The episode ends with a shot of Rex and Linda holding each other while workers in haz-mat suits use flamethrowers to burn the corn and milkweed plants."
There are some details left out in the description above from what was in the film. I'll post a link to the episode for those who like the Science Fiction version. I had to fast forward through much of the film, but one main point referenced in this film episode from 2000 was discussion of the Agrobacterium tumefaciens ("tumefaciens" meaning tumor-making) which has been used in the past by scientists for the organism's natural infecting abilities to insert target genes within another organism for the desired traits. That was interesting as was the later revelations in the film where the Corn wasn't the problem infecting people, but rather the unintended consequences of the GMO Corn's pollen to infect other unrelated plants like the Milkweed bordering the field margins with the same transgenic qualities via the wild soil Agrobacterium tumefaciens, except that once in the DNA of these Milkweed plants, the way the transgene worked within the informational content of the Milkweed was entirely different than what it did inside the corn. With that in mind, take a look at something here from the documentary, "The World According to Monsanto" where I've taken a quoted part of a conversation the interviewer has with Dr. Elena Alvarez-Buylla, in her laboratory at the Mexican National Institute of Ecology on the potential for genetic pollution being unleashed out into the wild.
Dr. Elena Alvarez-Buylla, in her laboratory at the
Mexican National Institute of Ecology experimenting with
Arabidopis thaliana (Thale Cress) & Trangene location
"“Since then,” Alvarez-Buylla told me, “my laboratory has carried out another study throughout the country that found that the national level of contamination is on average from 2 to 3 percent, depending on the type of transgene, with some much higher peaks.”
“What do you think about this dispute?”
“I think it has nothing to do with scientific rigor and that it is masking other interests. What’s important to me now is to find out the medium-term effects of the contamination on criollo corn. That’s why my research team did an experiment on a very simple flower, Arabidopis thaliana (Thale Cress), which has the smallest genome in the plant world, into which we introduced a gene by genetic engineering. We then planted the transgenic seeds and observed their growth. We found that two genetically completely identical plants— they had the same genome, the same chromosomes, and the same transgene— could produce very different phenotypes [floral forms]: some had flowers identical to the natural variety, with four petals and four sepals, but others had aberrant flowers with abnormal bristles or bizarre petals. And some were plainly monstrous. In fact, the only difference among all these plants was the location of the transgene, which was inserted completely at random, by modifying the plant’s metabolism.”
“What does that have to do with corn?” I asked, contemplating one of the “monstrous” flowers that the scientist was displaying on her computer.
“From this experimental model we can extrapolate what risks are happening when transgenic corn cross-pollinates with local varieties. It’s very worrying, because there is a fear that the random insertion of a transgene may affect the genetic inheritance of criollo corn in a totally uncontrolled way.”
So, depending on where the transgene randomly appears within the genome of it's new host, it works differently into whatever context of genes the transgene falls within as evidenced by the various (both mutated and degenerative) design changes of the Thale Cress flower observed in the experiment. Here is the link below of the documentary of "World According to Monsanto" (which is part 9 of the broken up 10 parts to the entire film). It's interesting to watch the first couple minutes of this section and listen to the Mexican peasant farmer explain how their indigenous corn doesn't require the fertilizers and other synthetic pesticide chemicals for which the Monsanto GMO Corn requires in order to succeed. What this tells me is that the genetic makeup of these heirloom Mexican varieties still have strong genetic instructions within their genomes for successful mycorrhizal colonization signalling that have been both engineered and bred out of the industrial corn. This is precisely consistent with what Dr Wendy Taheri, microbiologist of South Dakota State University said about modern cross breeding for plant hybrids which have been generation after generation weaned and sustained on an artificial life support system of the industrial agro-chemical world's synthetics. Today many varieties of wheat, oats, corn etc will not allow colonization on their root systems because the informational instructions for the manufacture of the root chemical signalling for mycorrhizal spores to germinate and attach to root systems are no longer is functional. The informational content has either been lost or shut down through epigenetic influences from environmental cues. These giant seeds producers for several years now with all their manipulation and breeding for longer growing seasons, higher yields and massive synthetic nutrient inputs have actually selected against those plants which would normally be higher mycorrhizal associated. So at least with most of the Mexican Corn varieties, those instructions are apparently still intact and result in better microbial colonization, although I'm not sure if those farmers actually understand that themselves. In this video below, scroll over across to time point 2:40 and watch exactly 2 minutes to 2:42:
Scientists at the University of Bristol have discovered a previously unknown route by which GM genes may escape into the natural environment. By studying plant-fungi-bacteria interactions at plant wound sites, the team have identified a natural process stimulated by a hormone released by the wounded plant that would allow synthetic genes to move across organisms and out into the wild. I want to restate that the example I gave above of how the Agrobacterium tumefaciens is being used as the popular vehicle to introduce foreign genes into plant cells for there to be subsequent regeneration of transgenic crops. As most of you know, the crops can be altered to be resilient & resistant to herbicide spraying, environmental stresses and crop pests by killing them with toxins (like BT Toxin). This is known as the horizontal gene transfer as opposed to the vertical gene transfer of traits through the conventional means of reproduction (think genealogy charts). The really spooky thing however [this is where possible infection resulting in Morgellons may come in] is that it has recently been noted that Agrobacterium tumefaciens is the only known species of microbe capable of infiltration of the DNA of not only plant species, but animal species as well. Apparently patients with the Morgellons disease have all had this agrobacterium tumefaciens present around infected areas. Here are some of the partial quotes of the Bristol University study:
"By studying plant-fungi-bacteria interactions at plant wound sites, the team have identified a natural process stimulated by a hormone released by the wounded plant that would allow synthetic genes to move across organisms and out into the wild."
"Professor Gary Foster and colleagues tested whether transformation of fungi by Agrobacterium can occur in nature on plants. Their results clearly demonstrate that when placed together on damaged plant tissue, Agrobacterium readily transforms associated fungi. “This suggests a previously unknown route for horizontal gene transfer in nature,” said Professor Foster.
"These results may have implications for the risk assessment of GM plants generated via Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. Agrobacterium can survive within plant tissue following artificial transformation in tissue culture, and can be detected within regenerated transgenic plants. This research shows that these bacteria have the potential to move the same genetic modifications to fungi in a natural environment."
"Prior to release of a GM plant, elimination of Agrobacterium following modern genetic modification is a key concern of geneticists and policy makers as it is essential to prevent later escape of synthesised gene from Agrobacterium to other organisms."
Professor Foster said: “This study suggests that the encounter between Agrobacterium and a fungus on the plant surface may lead to gene flow in a previously overlooked way, potentially leaking GM genes into the natural world.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The original concerns referenced in the documentary film from 2008 are not only still valid, but further evidence has added to those concerns and the unintended consequences have gotten worse since it's release. When Biotech Scientists and Executives crafted their controversial technology behind closed doors for years, they got together with just the right political elements in formulating the guidelines on how their product should be regulated. It was they who were the ones who lowered the bar and set their own bio-ethical parameters and proceeded to flood the media with biased damage control press releases. Most of the world's educated people should have done more than passively fall under the sleazy seductive persuasiveness of the old con game "Trust Me I'm a Scientist". There were so many unknowns back then in the early 1990s which should have required deeper questions as to what they were doing and what the potential for unintended consequences would be. It is especially worse today because we are finding that there are still more countless unknown unknowns. There has been an irresponsible infection of Science influenced by a certain specific biased worldview about life being nothing more than a bundle of compromises and now we humans and all life on Earth are paying the price. The reasoning behind most of their smug sarcasm towards critics believe it or not has to do with this worldview infecting the way science is practiced today, take for example earlier this year when stupid silly scientific research claimed that all GMO opponents are religious Luddites who believe the Earth has purpose ?
Science Daily: "Anti-GMO people are Religious Luddites who have a believe that the Earth has a purpose"
There are two things horribly flawed here in those secular religious assumptions invented by these evolutionary psychologists who are more bent on pimping a worldview than actually revealing some viable truth about genetic manipulation. First, it assumes that the ALL of the anti-GMO gang are religious right-wing nutcases. Totally untrue. Go over to online journals like The Daily Caller, The Hill, The Heartland Institute, etc, which are extremist right-wing religious/political sites which are in reality staunchly Pro-GMO. Almost every post I ever wrote about taking a biomimetic approach to farming, landscaping and how nature really works as opposed to GMO claims were deleted on these right-wing sites. (Read Here) , so it's odd that I'd be so censored on these presumably anti-gmo websites. These conservative sites publish articles which often point the finger at Anti-GMO people as being Liberal back-to nature hippy types. It's both sad and hilarious at the same time that both ideologies point fingers at each other when both are figuratively in bed with each other on this same subject. Second, the stupid psychology article from Belgium also would have readers assume that if the Anti-GMO people are really all those religious nutcases that believe Earth has a purpose, we would also have to come to the conclusion and assume that all Atheists and Agnostics believe the Earth has no purpose. But is this really true ? I know of numerous ecology, environmental, conservation, etc Activists who are atheistic in their worldviews, but who also love the natural world and believe the Earth does have a purpose and should be fought for. In the end, that research article which was peer-reviewed and published in numerous science-based journals is nothing but ideological nonsense backed by corporate business interests. Let's view another illustration at what really drives these irresponsible so-called pro-science defenders.
Mount St Helens eruption in 1980
I stumbled across an interesting illustration which fits this subject perfectly. The subject was about a beautiful well orchestrated human constructed Fireworks display and the comparison made to chaotic explosiveness of Volcano fireworks. Thanks to the photographs of the Mount St Helens eruption event captured by Ronnholm and a few other photographs on the above scene (notably Gary Rosenquist), scientists have been able to reconstruct what a volcanic landslide looked like and the unpredictable consequences that followed. Clearly, the fireworks display from natural Volcanoes are explosive, destructive and often have highly unpredictable consequences. The other type of explosive fireworks display like those of a 4th of July type of intelligent human designed Fireworks display of course can be entirely different and beautiful from that of a volcano, but still at the same time risky and as always has the potential element for dangerous consequences. But first take a look at this incredibly designed display:
It's incredible to marvel at what brilliant human intelligence can do in designing many things we all know, work with and enjoy in our daily life. Volcanic eruptions can likewise be beautiful in a sense, but only from a safe distance. It could be argued that such human designed explosions, unlike volcanoes are perfectly safe and always controlled, where only natural explosions such as volcanoes are the ones with terrible unexpected or unintended consequences. Therefore the pyrotechnic experts have improved upon nature's most always chaotic flaws when it comes to explosions. Now let's compare what happens in the case where the pyrotechnics experts running a show perhaps took some short cuts because they were in a hurry & didn't exactly check and double check to see if all their connections were in proper safe running order. Here was an actual unplanned unintended accident that happened back in 2013 where all the fireworks blow up at once.
Despite all the self-promoting human intellectualism advertised and so-called preparation with presumably safety checks and balances, there is still potential for unintended consequences which generally can be traced back to human error coupled together with ignorance. It has to be admitted by everyone that the Biotech industries don't purposely intend on killing off their clientele. That would be silly to state such a thing. But clearly there is pressure from executives and shareholders within large corporate giants to obtain a profit making product yesterday, not tomorrow. There is no such thing as a patient investor who forks over vast sums of money for personal financial gain who expects profits to be realized decades later. That's not how our world works, never has. Under such intense pressure for results yesterday, one has to ask what unintended potential for consequences can you imagine have been accidentally overlooked or deliberately ignored on the part of a biotech scientist ? Truth is, anything can be covered up as long as you make sure the right people gain from it. The other problem is, what is it that makes these researchers believe so confidently that what they are doing will cause no harm in the first place ? Frankly it's called worldview. Most don't want to hear that, but it's true. Science should be neutral and worldview should NOT even enter into the picture according to the rules, but that's not what we get. This is true of both sides of the worldview issue. Take for example this view of nature being flawed, imperfect, inefficient and badly designed. Aside from the instant gratification by potential for obscene wealth, the collective human intelligence of the present enlightened age actually believes they can fix what they see as flaws. Where do such scientists get this ? I wrote about many of the faulty religious reasons which infect science in my post on Paradigm Shift here -> (Source) . Some of the dumbest unscientific religious things said about proof of no creator or intelligent designer is that a creator or designer wouldn't have done such and such this way or that. Dumb examples like a Giraffe's neck, the way human child birth takes place, etc etc etc, would not have been done that way if there were a designer involved. This goes all the way back to Darwin's 'Origin of the Species' which is loaded with the same metaphysics of "If there were a God, he wouldn't have done things such and such a way". Really, how does Darwin know that ? How can any Scientists today know such a thing ? What experiment would a researcher use to experiment with and conclude that an intelligent entity which they already insist doesn't exist, how are they able to get into the mind of a nonexistent being and conclude what he would or wouldn't have done this way or that way ? I couldn't do that, so how can they or anyone else do that ? This has zero to do with science and is more of a religious nature. Now, this is NOT a discussion about evolution vrs creation. It's about how the obsession with this time wasting debate has infected the way things are done in the Lab without regard for any respect for the complexity of how genetics is completely put together and really works. This is not a discussion of how it got that way. Neither side can write a paper and perform an experiment which is repeatable to prove their side of the argument. Otherwise we'd all be reading such material if it actually existed. Despite professions of greater understanding than at any time previously, we are discovering that there are still so many more unknown unknowns out there. With the Gene Gun and use of the Agrobacterium, it was always a crap shoot anyway as to whether a gene would land in the same exact location within any genome every single time it was performed. One belief has the possibility close to a trillion to one shot. Oh and the celebratory jumping up and down with Pom Poms about CRSPER doesn't help either. Already these bioethically challenged people are talking boldly about how they can tinker and edit the flawed human genome and make corrections and offer cloning services for a price of course. Unfortunately, deliberately escaping their notice, Jurassic Park was just a Hollywood science fiction entertainment film, not a present day reality. But don't expect any admission from this culture about any of this. It's simply not in their animal nature to admit anything flawed on their part. That's why we get justifications by Biotech leaders like Robb Fraley and Alison Van Eenennaanm saying "Well what's the big deal, genes are just genes and DNA is just DNA", except it's not, it's different specific informational content or these people wouldn't be messing with it for Patents and Profits. And this all contrasts with something even far more important.
Working against biotechnology's scientific ambitions are the hurdles of reality found in the Natural WorldOn the other side of the table are scientists like Dr Wendy Taheri, Dr Kris Nichols, Dr Mike Amaranthus, Dr Gary Harman, Dr Donald Marx or actual farmers like Gabe Brown and others like the grounds keepers at Harvard Yard actually working with nature and replicating what nature really does and being successful at it. But the question has to be asked, why does the larger part of scientific consensus not follow the type of science practiced by these people who have proven over and over it's true worth ? Aside from all the definition shell games about what genetic modification is and isn't or cupcake examples of natural gmos in nature like sweet potatoes etc, what really chaps these Biotech and agro-chemical industrial giants is that if Farmers worldwide actually came together and got a clue as to what Saps they are being played for by these industrial giants and that merely educating themselves and changing certain practices which nurtures soil biology instead of continually killing it, these entities would lose financially big time. Farmers wouldn't be going into huge debt to pay off loans, seed and chemical invoices, investments in more equipment, depending on Government for bail outs when things go wrong, which is becoming more and more common these days. Biomimicry and Biomimetics are dirty repugnant words to these industries. You can understand why millions of dollars are spent on damage control measures which are purposed to muddle, fuzzy and make gray what should otherwise be clear black and white subject matter.
Irrespective of how one believes life got so incredibly complex and sophisticated as a well oiled biological machine, it still never the less is. The underground microbial world is still far superior to anything any human has seen in maintaining the Earth. At the very least this is something to further think ponder about by everyone on this planet. If this doesn't make sense and move you to actually think and ponder about the potential for harm, then you're probably dead.
(Important Update Dec 17, 2015: Supplementary Information)
Stony Brook researchers: Cancer cause is environment, behavior, not just ‘bad luck’
"Johns Hopkins University scientists set off alarms earlier this year when they claimed the “bad luck” of random mutations largely influence cancer risk, a finding that spurred Long Island investigators to determine whether the conclusion held weight. They say it doesn't."
"Scientists at Stony Brook University, led by Dr. Yusuf Hannun, the Joel Strum Kenny Professor in Cancer Research and Director of the Stony Brook University Cancer Center, have found quantitative evidence proving that extrinsic risk factors, such as environmental exposures and behaviors weigh heavily on the development of a vast majority (approximately 70 to 90 percent) of cancers."
Folks, this is so easy to understand that even a child gets this. Environmental factors are going down hill over and over and while the lifestyle changes are important, many people no longer have choices as to the environment with which they are living. The misuses and abuses of industrial science by large corporate business interests are number one in ecological degradation out in the wild and urban environments. The idea of Science being that of "discover & wonder" are long gone. Although every human being on earth bears a measure of guilt for lifestyle choices, at the forefront of where things are going wrong are the global corporate business communities and the political elements which enable them. People everywhere need to reassess what and who they are putting their faith and trust in.
For people actually curious of the Outer Limits episode, then here it is. Keep in mind this is only science fiction, but is still illustrative of the potential of unintended consequence of a transgenic property to leap into the wild by through an agrobacterium and causing possible harmful change and unintended consequences because certain entities were committed towards end user profit goals for Executives and impatient unnamed unknown anonymous Shareholders
References for Agrobacterium Transgenic Infection in the Wild
References on Agrobacterium and Morgellons Disease
PubMed: "Recent patents on agrobacterium-mediated gene and protein transfer, for research and biotechnology"
One final reference to possible tumor and Agrobacterium links in Tasmanian Devils
(You yourself can google, read and decide. I won't steer anyone any direction, but the fact that this does come up as a possibility is scary)