jueves, agosto 04, 2005

Hazards of Frankenfoods

Scrambling and Gambling with the Genome

By Jeffrey M. Smith, author of Seeds of Deception
Spilling the Beans, July 2005

"With genetic engineering, transferring genes from one species' DNA to another is just like taking a page out of one book and putting it between the pages of another book." This popular analogy is used often by advocates of genetically modified (GM) food. The words on the page are made up of the four letters, or molecules, of the genetic code, which line up in "base pairs" along the DNA. The inserted page represents a gene, whose code produces one or more proteins. The book is made up of chapters, which represent chromosomes�large sections of DNA.

The analogy makes the process of genetic engineering appear to be as simple and precise as inserting a new page. A groundbreaking report, however, shreds the book analogy. Genome Scrambling ­ Myth or Reality?, written by three scientists at the UK-based Econexus, reveals that the process of genetic engineering results in widespread mutations� within the inserted gene, near its insertion, and in hundreds or thousands of locations throughout the genome� and that these are overlooked by many scientists and regulators. [1] The report is an extensive review of research that overturns the central arguments by biotech advocates �that the technology is precise, predictable, and safe, and that current studies are adequate. On the contrary, it demonstrates that GM crops represent a significant gamble to public health and the environment (see http://www.econexus.info/ ).

Gene Insertion Methods Create Mutations, Fragments, and Multiple Copies

There are two popular methods for creating GM crops; both create mutations. The first method uses Agrobacterium�bacteria that contain circular pieces of DNA called plasmids. One section of this plasmid is designed to create tumors. Under normal conditions, Agrobacterium infects a plant by inserting that tumor-creating portion into the plant's DNA. Genetic engineers, however, replace the tumor-creating section of the plasmid with one or more genes. They then use the altered Agrobacterium to infect a plant's DNA with those foreign genes.

The second method of gene insertion uses a gene gun. Scientists coat thousands of particles of tungsten or gold with gene sequences and then shoot these into thousands of plant cells. Years ago, the sequences that were shot into cells usually included both the genes that were intended for transfer (gene cassette) as well as extraneous DNA from the plasmid used in the creation and propagation of the cassettes in bacteria. This is true for most GM foods currently on the market. These days, many scientists take the added step of eliminating the extraneous, mostly bacterial DNA and coat the particles just with the cassette.

With both methods of gene insertion, scientists speculate that the process triggers a wound response in the plant cell, which helps its DNA integrate the foreign gene. With the gene gun technique, only a few cells out of thousands incorporate the foreign gene.

According to the book analogy, a single, intact, foreign page (gene) is inserted. That's the intention. In reality, most transformed DNA end up with multiple copies of the foreign gene, incomplete genes and/or gene fragments. Sections of the inserted genes are commonly changed, rearranged, or deleted during the insertion process. In addition, extraneous pieces of plasmid DNA sometimes end up interspersed within and around the inserted gene or scattered throughout the genome.

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All statements made are our express opinion only and should be treated as such. We may own, take position and sell any securities mentioned at any time. Any statements that express or involve discussions with respect to predictions, goals, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance are not statements of historical fact and may be "forward looking statements." Forward looking statements are based on expectations, estimates and projections at the time the statements are made that involve a number of risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those presently anticipated. This profile is in no way affiliated with the featured company. We were compensated one thousand dollars from third party (IR Marketing) to distribute this report. Forward looking statements in this action may be identified through the use of words such as: "projects", "foresee", "expects". in compliance with Section 17(b), we disclose the holding of FGS shares prior to the publication of this report. Be aware of an inherent conflict of interest resulting from such holdings due to our intent to profit from the liquidation of these shares. Shares may be sold at any time, even after positive statements have been made regarding the above company. Since we own shares, there is an inherent conflict of interest in our statements and opinions. Readers of this publication are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which are based on certain assumptions and expectations involving various risks and uncertainties that could cause results to differ materially from those set forth in the forward- looking statements. This is not solicitation to buy or sell stocks, this text is for informational purpose only and you should seek professional advice from registered financial advisor before you do anything related with buying or selling stocks, penny stocks are very high risk and you can lose your entire investment.

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