The Threat of Rogue Gene Editing and Its Implications on Nature
By Jeffrey Smith
Are the risks really as dangerous as we indicate?
Over the past two decades, we have collected substantial evidence suggesting that GMO foods contribute to rising disease rates. The existential threat to nature, however, goes beyond the health impacts of a single generation. GMOs of all types and all kingdoms, food and non-food, carry unprecedented threats to the future of our planet’s ecosystem. Here is a sampling of a few historic cases that demonstrate widespread risks.
- Back in the 1980s, GMO bacteria were designed to replace their natural counterpart, which causes frost damage on strawberries. Fortunately, commercialization was prevented at the last minute. We now know that the natural bacteria also creates clouds, rain and snow. If the impotent GMO version had been widely released and enjoyed a survival advantage over the natural species, it may have impacted weather patterns.
- In the 1990s, scientists obtained government approval to distribute their alcohol-creating GMO bacteria. Farmers were supposed to mix the organisms in big barrels with crop waste and use the resulting alcohol to run their tractors. The sludge at the bottom of the barrel was to be spread on the fields as fertilizer. Two weeks before an experimental release, a graduate student happened to discover that the fertilizer turned roots and seedlings into alcohol, rendering soil infertile.
- Canadian scientists created GMO salmon equipped with extra growth hormones. When these ravenous fast-growing fish were deprived of adequate food, they became violent and cannibalistic, causing population crashes or extinctions in their tanks.
- GMO medaka fish also grew faster, conferring a mating advantage over natural medaka. The offspring from the GMO fish, however, had a 70% survival rate. Purdue scientists used a computer model to see what would happen if 60 GMO fish were added to a natural population of 60,000. They were shocked to discover that all the fish were wiped out in just 40 generations.
- The UK company Oxitech promised that their GMO mosquito would never persist in the environment. Its sterile offspring would reduce the natural mosquito population and the GMO versions would all die off. Now, after they released hundreds of millions of the insects in four countries, we learn that their trait misfired. The natural gene pool of mosquitoes has become permanently altered, with unknown consequences.
In these and countless other examples, promoters of GMOs willingly risked permanent contamination of nature’s gene pool based on their belief that the technology was predictable and safe. They were wrong. The same misplaced confidence accompanied the introduction of gene editing. Their claims of predictability and safety were soon contradicted by numerous studies confirming the opposite.
Not only can the editing process create hundreds or thousands of mutations, rogue pieces of DNA from the lab environment can be accidentally inserted into the genome. That explains the following near catastrophes.
- The makers of gene edited hornless cows claimed that there were no side effects. They asserted that it was so successful, gene edited animals from then on should not require regulation. Two years later, however, other scientists discovered that the cows’ cells also contained DNA from bacteria, including antibiotic resistant genes. When the surprise finding was announced, the GMO herd that was being bred for sale was killed off. If the bacterial genes had not been discovered, those cows might have spread deadly super diseases.
- The process of gene editing often takes place in a medium of cow or goat serum. When gene edited mice were created, random cow and goat DNA floating in the serum were integrated into the rodents’ genome. The inserted DNA included retroviruses, demonstrating that diseases can be accidentally transferred between species.
It is not important to prove that each of the particular cases listed above would definitely lead to altered weather patterns, vast sterile landscapes, destruction of fish species, dangerous new insects, or the spread of disease. Rather they serve to illustrate the principle of how tiny changes in the DNA of a single organism can have devastating and long-lasting consequences.
Now do the math. Multiply the probability of the combined risks by the number of times these experiments will be conducted. Do we multiply by ten thousand, a million, ten million? Do-it-yourself gene editing kits are sold today as holiday gifts for $159. As their costs drop and their power grows, will we see kits distributed to every child in school?
As the number of experiments grow, the likelihood of a catastrophe approaches certainty. But the ability to correct the problem—or even track its source—is far from certain.
Let us take steps now to prevent a disaster rather than learn our lesson trying to clean one up.
Taking the lead
The Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT) pioneered consumer education about the health dangers of GMOs and Roundup. The purpose was to inspire individuals to eat healthier, and thereby collectively exert market pressure to motivate food companies to replace GMO ingredients.
The behavior-change messaging worked beautifully. In the US alone, 46% of surveyed Americans now say they are seeking non-GMO diets. The tipping point in the marketplace has been started, and major food companies are rushing to become “Non-GMO.”
Consumer food choices alone, however, will not be sufficient to stop the threat of gene-edited bacteria, fungus, algae, insects, trees, grass, etc.
A Portfolio of Solutions
There are many areas of society that can be used to address this issue.
- International treaties, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, can establish restrictions on international trade of GMOs.
- Assignment of strict liability for creators of gene edited GMOs can certainly slow down the introduction. Liability can be created through legislation, the court systems, or even the World Trade Organization.
- Sensible laws can limit exposure.
- Scientific organizations can sound the alarm and call for greater caution.
- Institutional Review Boards, which approve studies in universities, can take a significant role in requiring containment of new organisms.
- Academic policies can further restrict certain high-risk experiments.
A key success factor is to engage in mass education via media, social media, films, TV specials, curriculum in schools, and political platforms.
Global Coalition Building
The threat of the replacement of nature is so all-encompassing, many different types of demographics can be engaged, including parents, religions, indigenous communities, nature enthusiasts, gardeners, birdwatchers, animal rights groups, scientists, companies in tourism, and of course the youth.
We can tap into the already vibrant and active infrastructure of activists organizations focusing on climate change, chemical pollution, biodiversity, regeneration, saving the oceans, etc. Ironically, our movement building can take advantage of the fact that more people are focusing on protecting our planet than at any time in history. They are hearing about the devastating collapse of biodiversity — the sixth great extinction, the insect and bird die-off, and how ecosystems are under unprecedented assault. People are realizing that new technologies can have devastating consequences.
If we produce powerful assets with the right messaging, we can motivate existing groups to aid our urgent education efforts through distribution. We won’t have to build a new global movement from scratch.
IRT is pulling together a dream team to pull all this together, sound the alarm, and implement solutions.
Message from Thrive:
We must act now, before it’s too late. Thrive supports the work Jeffrey and his team are doing and hopes you will help spread the message, if you feel called to do so. To get involved in the efforts being made, please use the contacts below.
Donations can be made at www.ResponsibleTechnology.org
The Existential Threat from New GMOs
By Jeffrey Smith
The allure of gene editing is intoxicating. Biohackers set up labs for as little as $2,000, while major companies install buildings full of robots driven by artificial intelligence for massive output. The ability to cheaply customize the genomes of any species promises wealth, health, and the unprecedented opportunity to reshape the natural world to our whims and wishes.
But what happens when countless gene altered species flood our ecosystem?
What we call nature today, the product of billions of years of evolution, would be forever replaced with laboratory creations—forged from a technology whose number one most common outcome is surprise side effects. Tens of thousands of well-intentioned DNA fixes—accompanied by the collateral damage that invariably results—would irreversibly corrupt our gene pool.
We all know how one single invasive species can create chaos in a new environment. What chaos will we unleash when delicately balanced ecosystems are substituted with untested, gene altered varieties?
We have arrived at an inevitable moment in human civilization where we can easily reorder the codes of life and redirect the streams of evolution for all time. One would hope that such unprecedented power would be balanced by a society equipped with far-sighted vision, advanced moral and ethical values, rock solid safety mechanisms, and a profound understanding of how altered DNA functions.
We have none of these.
Instead, we have companies like Monsanto, willing to overlook or cover-up dangers. Industries obsessed with short-term profit. And governments busy eliminating all safety requirements.
In the early days of genetic engineering, thoughtful scientists were deeply concerned about the unpredictable and irreversible impacts. They agreed among themselves to keep it in the lab. If a GMO could reproduce, it was not to be released into the environment.
This prudent measure was soon overturned by profit-seekers who overstated the safety and denied the risks. That same false narrative continues to this day.
Many activists working on climate change believe that the threat to our planet from genetic engineering is even greater. Although debating the point is fruitless, the implications are clear. We are facing a new existential threat that must be addressed.
To learn more about the background of this issue, click this link and please considering sharing this information with your network.
Please join us to sound the alarm and to create assurances that this powerful new technology is handled responsibly. All living beings and all future generations are in the balance.
Visit www.ProtectNatureNow.com for a 3-minute video about this issue.
Message from Thrive:
We must act now, before it’s too late. Thrive supports the work Jeffrey and his team are doing and hopes you will help spread the message, if you feel called to do so. To get involved in the efforts being made, please use the contacts below.
Donations can be made at www.ResponsibleTechnology.org
Rogue Gene Editing
Solution Group @ LISA HILDWINE
(All links are paid affiliate links.)
One of the hidden parts of our work is the danger involved. Kimberly and I have gratefully avoided any serious problems, despite the fact that we report on extremely disruptive (aka “corrective”) technologies and issues for which many have been persecuted.
Why have we been safe so far? I am sure there are many reasons, but for the first time we are publicly revealing one of the major ones — and that is our world-class security team. William J. (“Billy”) Taylor, Gail Johnson and the rest of the team at the WJT Agency have quietly and skillfully kept us out of trouble for two decades.
This same team provided security in such iconic and successful cases as Iran/Contra, Karen Silkwood, Wounded Knee, and a successful supreme court case against the Ku Klux Klan, with the renowned civil rights attorney Danny Sheehan. As a team, they never lost a case…or a client.
Taylor’s team are not Marvel superheroes or mutant avengers. They are flesh and blood human beings risking their lives to solve real human problems.
On a recent trip to some energy and healing labs that had been under threat, I told Billy I felt a little guilty about being one of the few to get to hear his stories.
“More will have the chance soon,” he said, “I’m writing some novels.”
I was stunned. This is the ultimately private person who doesn’t use three words if two will suffice.
In addition to helping Thrive and our at-risk inventors and holistic doctors, Billy’s team has been rescuing Lakota children who have been kidnapped and sold into illegal drug testing and sex trafficking rings. “It’s one of the most satisfying things we’ve ever done,” Billy told me, “To rescue stolen and abused children and return them to their parents’ arms. There is so much about this that you can’t just say in our work, so I decided a novel is the suitable way to share these stories with the world.”
Stolen Angels is the first of those accounts.
Names have been changed and timelines compressed, but as a long-time fan of good thrillers, I can assure you these novels give whole new meaning to “based on a true story!”
Enjoy an elucidating read while rewarding one of the true heroes of our time.
— Foster Gamble
Solution Group @ Nat Ford
Solution Group @ Jack Sprat
Solution Group @ keith mercer
Effective as of February 10, 2019
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Solution Group @ Kevin Barrett
Solution Group @ Mike Brandridge
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Watch PGS — Intuition is your Personal Guidance System
The THRIVE team is 8 months into the production of our sequel. It’s going very well and we are super busy. That’s why you haven’t heard more from us recently. I did want to take a moment to alert you to a fascinating and inspiring opportunity…
There’s a remarkable new film just out on intuition which I can highly recommend, called PGS - Intuition is your Personal Guidance System.
It was created by a friend of ours, and an enthusiastic THRIVE supporter, named Bill Bennett. Bill is a very accomplished Hollywood Director/Writer who recently ventured into independent exploratory truth media after a startling inner voice told him to slam on the brakes — saving his life from being wiped out by a tractor-trailer careening out from behind the corner of a building against a red light.
This film is the story of his global quest to figure out what that was that saved him. It features some of the world’s leading experts on intuition — and Kimberly and I also offer our reflections. It’s been having sellout screenings in cinemas across the US, and it’s now available online. If you have any interest in inner life, survival, thriving and the nature of our true self…we highly recommend you see this film.
Get some popcorn, set aside an evening with some dear ones and WATCH THIS FILM.