Hidden, deadly viral gene found in commercial GMO crops

Thursday, February 07, 2013 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: GMO crops, viral gene, organ damage

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(NaturalNews) Just a few months after a now-famous Italian study found that Monsanto's NK603 genetically-modified (GM) corn causes serious organ damage and tumors in mammals, a report issued by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has uncovered that most GMOs in commercial use today contain a hidden viral gene that appears to be unsafe for human consumption.

Entitled Possible consequences of the overlap between the CaMV 35S promoter regions in plant transformation vectors used and the viral gene VI in transgenic plants, the landmark report highlights that fact that 54 of the 86 GMO traits currently approved for use, or roughly 63 percent, contain a strange viral gene known as "Gene VI" that researchers have found alters the normal function of crops.

This alteration is present in most of the widely-grown GMOs in commercial use today, including both NK603 and MON810 corn, as well as Roundup-Ready soybeans, all of which are produced by Monsanto. And researchers have found that this rogue gene can induce unintended phenotypic changes, which can involve serious physical and biochemical mutations, in organisms.

"In the course of analysis to identify potential allergens in GMO crops, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has belatedly discovered that the most common genetic regulatory sequence in commercial GMOs also encodes a significant fragment of a viral gene," explains Independent Science News (ISN) about the discovery.

Based on earlier research involving the link between viral genes and plant and human health, the new discovery raises serious concerns about the safety of many GMOs in commercial production today. Since the inherent purpose of viral genes is to disable the host in order to allow for pathogenic invasion, their presence in the GMO-ridden food supply represents a serious threat to both plant and human health.

Gene VI the 'smoking gun' that proves GMOs are unfit for human consumption

Up until this point, the biotechnology industry has maintained that GMOs are virtually identical to natural organisms, and that there is no structural or functional difference between GMOs and natural crops in the way they are processed by the human body. But the presence of Gene VI in the vast majority of GMOs completely debunks this myth.

Since natural crops do not possess Gene VI, they are not susceptible to the same viral infections as are GMOs that contain it. According to ISN's analysis of the function of Gene VI, the genetic defect not only facilitates the assembly of potentially deadly viruses in plant tissue, but it also suppresses natural anti-pathogenic defenses, making crops, and potentially the humans that eat them, more susceptible to disease.

The presence of Gene VI basically leaves transgenic crops defenseless against both pathogenic and viral invaders, and is believed to cause aberrant gene expression in crops that possess it. This means the entire genetic sequence of a plant can mutate as a consequence of Gene VI, resulting in random protein production within plant cells, indiscriminate gene expression throughout the organism, and even growth deformities.

Scientists have known about the presence of similar viral genes in GMOs for years, but they have never pinpointed exactly how these genes and the massive genetic changes they induce affect human health. And none of the governments that have approved viral gene-containing GMOs for commercial use have ever required that proper safety tests be conducted to identify any potential health threats, which means humanity is the collective guinea pig for this massive biotechnology science experiment.

"[T]he relevant information on the existence of Gene VI has been freely available in the scientific literature since well before the first biotech approval," adds ISN about the scandal.

Be sure to read the entire ISN report on the study here:

You can also read the study itself here:

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