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Organic Consumers Association

New GMO Wheat May 'Silence' Vital Human Genes

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page, Millions Against Monsanto page and our Genetically Modified Wheat Resource Center page.



 Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) has developed a type of genetically modified (GM) wheat that may silence human genes, leading to disastrous health consequences.

 Last year, University of Canterbury Professor Jack Heinemann released results from genetic research he conducted on the wheat, which showed with "no doubt" that molecules created in the wheat, which are intended to silence wheat genes to change its carbohydrate content, may match human genes and potentially silence them.

 University Professor Judy Carman agreed with Heinemann's analysis, stating in Digital Journal:

     "If this silences the same gene in us that it silences in the wheat -- well, children who are born with this enzyme not working tend to die by the age of about five."

Over 770 Pages of Potential Genetic Matches

 Heinemann reported that his research revealed over 770 pages of potential matches between two GM genes in the wheat and the human genome. Over a dozen matches were "extensive and identical and sufficient to cause silencing in experimental systems," he said.

 Experts warned that eating the wheat could lead to significant changes in the way glucose and carbohydrates are stored in the human body, which could be potentially deadly for children and lead to serious illness in adults.

 Since this adverse effect is extremely plausible, long-term studies are needed before the wheat is released into the environment and the human food chain - but a new review states that the risks are still not being adequately assessed.


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