Originally published December 11 2007
Killer Cold Virus: It's Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature
by Patty Donovan
(NaturalNews) By now most of you have read about the mutant cold virus which has turned into a killer. In summary, a virulent strain of the adenovirus (Ad14) is causing serious illness and even death in young, healthy people. Adenoviruses have been known to cause severe disease in the very young, the very old and the very sick but this virus causes severe respiratory problems in even otherwise healthy adults. Hundreds have fallen ill, with many requiring hospitalization, even care in an ICU. So far there have been 10 deaths (2 in infants), directly attributed to this virus since May 2006. This may not sound like a lot, but consider, this is the COLD virus.
There are four states with known major outbreaks. The largest outbreak occurred in Texas at 4 military bases, most notably Lackland Air Force Base which provides Basic Training for the US Air Force. At Lackland alone, 106 airmen were infected and one died. The other states involved are Oregon, Washington and New York. It is probable that this virus is loose across the US although so far, these 4 states have the only large reportable clusters.
Adenovirus 14 caused an outbreak of serious disease in the Netherlands in 1955 and emerged again in Spain in 1969 causing disease in military recruits. The Ad 14 strain infecting people today is genetically distinct from that virus. There are 51 types of adenovirus which cause everything from colds, to conjunctivitis (viral pink eye) to bladder infections. Usually, these viruses are a nuisance, not a cause of serious illness and death. Researchers have no idea what caused the virus to mutate or what sparked the outbreaks. Let me put forth a hypothesis.
Each of the 4 states with known outbreaks has various labs working with genetic engineering. These labs use adenoviruses to carry new genetic material into cells. What exactly is genetic engineering? Genetic engineering is a laboratory technique used by scientists to alter the DNA of living organisms. DNA is what makes each organism unique and the life and growth of that organism is dependent on its DNA. The segments of DNA associated with specific functions of an organism are called genes. Using enzymes, scientists can now cut and join specific genes and "build" a customized organism. Basically you are using the adenovirus to "infect" the receiving organism with a new gene.
Did one of these viruses mutate in the lab and get loose; was it deliberately manipulated to "improve" it and accidentally let loose? Was it intentionally created as a biological warfare weapon and loosed among the new Air Force recruits as an "experiment"? Yes, these scenarios may sound paranoid, but they are all feasible. Oversight of genetic manipulation in the US is sorely lacking. After all, the FDA refuses to do or allow research on GMO foods claiming they "are essentially the same". Harm from these is fodder for another article.
These are not mutations that could have possibly happened in nature, these are totally man made. A good example is the tomato. It is sensitive to frost and thus has a fairly short growing season. Certain fish however flourish in icy water. Scientists identified the gene allowing these fish to tolerate freezing water and inserted this "antifreeze gene" into the tomato thus extending its growing season.
While genetic engineering could produce super crops, Peter McEvoy, an entomologist at Oregon State University believes the US should use more caution in introducing any new plant species. Yes, GMO crops, plants, animals are NEW species. McEvoy, whose work involves using insects to attack noxious plants, said it is important for scientists to stop saying that engineered plants are no different than other plants; just because they appear similar. "That has stifled research on the potential harm (of transgenic plants) and it is counterproductive, in my view," he said. He would like the US to follow the example of New Zealand when it comes to introduction of new plant species. "In New Zealand, (government regulators) take the attitude that 'If it's new to New Zealand, then it's subject to regulatory scrutiny,'" McEvoy said. "In contrast, we have a virtual open-door policy on introducing new plants into North America. A portion of those go on to become invasive weeds."
Genetic engineering is also being researched for disease treatments such as Cystic Fibrosis and cancer. However, this therapy is coming under increased scrutiny after deaths in the testing of this technology for Cystic Fibrosis, liver cancer, colon cancer and vascular disease. Of particular concern to federal health officials are studies that employ the inactivated adenovirus.
What makes genetic engineering so dangerous is its fundamental weakness. A scientist moves genes from one organism to another by precisely cutting out a particular gene, inserting it into the virus and sending the virus into the target organism; but the next step is anything but precise. The insertion into the DNA of the target organism is basically random so there is always the risk that it may disrupt the functioning of other genes essential to the life of that organism.
"Genetic engineering is like performing heart surgery with a shovel. Scientists do not yet understand living systems completely enough to perform DNA surgery without creating mutations which could be harmful to the environment and our health. They are experimenting with very delicate, yet powerful forces of nature, without full knowledge of the repercussions".
Problems cannot be traced because no labels are required. The FDA refuses to acknowledge that genetically modified organisms are any different from the original, therefore there is no requirement that these be labeled. Without labels, our public health agencies are powerless to trace problems of any kind back to their source. The potential for tragedy is staggering. Side effects of genetic engineering can KILL. 37 people died, 1500 were partially paralyzed, and 5000 more were temporarily disabled by a syndrome that was finally linked to tryptophan made by genetically-engineered bacteria (Mayeno 1994,Gene Pollution Cannot Be Cleaned Up) .
Once genetically engineered organisms, bacteria, and viruses are released into the environment it is impossible to contain or recall them. I repeat, is that the case for mutant adenovirus 14? Chemical spills and nuclear accidents can eventually be contained or neutralized, however the negative effects of genetic engineering are irreversible. DNA is still not well understood. 97% of human DNA is called junk, not because it is expendable but because scientists do not know its function. The workings of a single cell are so complex; we still don't know everything about it. Yet the biotech companies have already planted millions of acres with genetically engineered crops, and fully intend to engineer every crop in the world. They are creating drugs, insects, and animals for specific traits and even have their eye on engineering "super humans". Are you scared yet?
Information on 'what viruses are being used where' is difficult to come by. Here are a few things I have discovered. Merck recently suspended its HIV vaccine study which was not only shown to be ineffective, but increased the risk of contracting HIV. The virus used in this study was adenovirus 5. Labs working with this virus in vaccine and cancer research are located in TEXAS, WASHINGTON, NEW YORK, Tennessee and Alabama to name just a few. Viruses are necessary for us to live. There are native retroviruses in our bodies which are so important that we couldn't exist without them. Part of the retrovirus turns genes on and off and are a necessary part of embryonic growth. They also are responsible for "growing" stem cells into whatever cells are needed. Normally, they don't harm us because they are missing certain gene functions. However, these functions can be restored by helper viruses (including inactivated viruses in vaccines such as adenoviruses) that infect the cells. This process is resulting in the creation of completely new diseases. Also, while most of these endogenous viruses do not harm us, they can cause disease in other species – and vice versa! Most vaccines are grown in animal tissue; who knows what may be passed on. Think about it, all these recent viruses - hepatitis C, HIV, HHV-6, HHV-8, Ebola, and Marburg etc. - came from somewhere.
Opponents term molecular farming "Pharmageddon", and fear that the artificially combined genes will have unintended, untoward and unforeseen consequences for the environment. Consumer advocates, wary about the proliferation of GM foods, dread the possibility that plant-grown drugs and industrial chemicals will end up in food crops. To prevent such a scenario, the FDA issued new regulations to safeguard the food supply during the last quarter of 2003. Such regulations are meaningless. Nature cannot be controlled. Already organic crops are showing up contaminated with GMO genes.
About the authorPatty Donovan was in a wheelchair and could only walk around her house with a cane. She was on over 20 medications. When told to "take the morphine, get in the wheelchair and learn to live with it" by a neurosurgeon, she knew her life had to change. She is now almost a fanatic when it comes to healing through the use of "whole foods" and and natural remedies. Since that time, she has spent countless hours researching nutrtion and alternative health. After spending 30 years in the allopathic health care industry in both pharmacy and as an RN, she brings a unique perspective to Natural News readers. Since committing to this new life style, she no longer uses even a cane, has gotten off over 20 medications, lost over 50lbs and returned to work.
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