Organic Consumers Association

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OCA's Save the Bees Campaign

Serious Unintended Effects in Bees from GM DsRNA

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page and our Honey Bee Health page.

A new study shows major unexpected effects in bees from dietary GM dsRNA.

Early this year, a peer-reviewed study was published by Prof Jack Heinemann and colleagues suggesting that government GMO regulators are failing to consider important risks of new kinds of GM plants and co-technologies.

These new-type GM plants and products are designed to make a form of genetic information called double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). While most existing GM plants are designed to make new proteins, the new GM plants and products make dsRNA in order to alter the way genes are expressed.

This process of gene expression alteration is called RNAi or RNA interference, or post-transcriptional gene silencing.

Research has shown that dsRNAs can transfer from plants to humans and other animals through food.

The Australia/New Zealand GMO regulator FSANZ dismissed Heinemann and colleagues' study, using spurious reassurances about dsRNA risks.      

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