Organic Consumers Association was founded in 1998, in part to shut down plans by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to allow foods containing genetically engineered ingredients to be certified organic.
We won that important battle. But we’ve never stopped campaigning to end the genetic engineering of our food supply, out of concern for human health and the environment.
We’ve also never stopped fearing the worst: that genetic engineering of viruses could lead to a global public health disaster.
Global governments and citizens are frantically trying to stem the physical, emotional and economic damage inflicted by COVID-19.
Meanwhile, scientists are working to uncover the origin of the virus in hope of averting another similar pandemic.
In an article titled “SARS-CoV-2 Could Have Escaped from a Lab—and the U.S. Is in the Frame,” Claire Robinson, managing editor of GM Watch, summarizes some of the latest evidence supporting the theory that the COVID-19 pandemic resulted from the accidental escape of a genetically engineered virus from a lab in Wuhan, China.
In her article, Robinson cites a Washington Post report describing the “gain-of-function” (research involving pathogens with enhanced pandemic potential) work being done at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV):
“Dozens of routine studies required extracting viruses from bat feces and growing them in batches for use in a wide array of experiments. For some projects the researchers spliced genetic material from different coronaviruses to create chimeras that could more easily infect human cells for laboratory experiments.”
Some scientists will argue that creating a chimera “that could more easily infect human cells” is legitimate “medical” research. (A chimera is a single organism that's made up of cells from two or more "individuals"—that is, it contains two sets of DNA, with the code to make two separate organisms).
But history tells us that this type of genetic engineering research is the foundation of biowarfare.
In a 2002 paper titled: “Next Generation Bioweapons: The Technology of Genetic Engineering Applied to Biowarfare and Bioterrorism,” Michael J. Ainscough states that “organisms with altered characteristics are the ‘next generation’ of biological weapons. He wrote:
“In this century, it is widely predicted that advances in biology and biotechnology will revolutionize society and life as we know it. At the same time, the ‘black biology’ of biotechnology, which can be used to create biological weapons, will be one of the gravest threats we will face.”
We know this type of research is being conducted, even though it’s illegal under the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, which states:
“Whoever knowingly develops, produces, stockpiles, transfers, acquires, retains, or possesses any biological agent, toxin, or delivery system for use as a weapon, or knowingly assists a foreign state or any organization to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for life or any term of years, or both.”
We also know there’s a long history of safety lapses at labs, in the U.S. and other countries, conducting biological research, as journalist Sam Husseini outlines in his most recent article.
We may never learn the truth about the origins of COVID-19. But we should demand an end to “gain-of-function” research that serves no purpose other than create viruses that “more easily infect human cells.”