An article published in 2007 entitled “The rice with human genes” would report on the first genetically modified crop containing human genes. Years later, genetically manipulated animals would fill the headlines throughout all major news media outlets. Genetically modified foods have gone mainstream, dominating much of the agricultural market. In the wake of the so-called defeat of Proposition 37, it’s eerie looking back on this 2007 Mail Online article on the “world’s first” genetically modified food crop containing human genes: rice made with human genes.
Made with three synthetic human proteins found in breast milk and saliva, the California-based developers, Ventria, claimed that its GM rice could reduce death in developing regions of the world where children die of diarrhea-related dehydration. Ventria used a study in Peru, in which children with severe diarrhea recovered more quickly if they ingested salty fluids containing the proteins in question, to galvanize its argument.
Of course, Ventria funded that same study, and one of the top scientists faced a criminal investigation and a professional ethics complaint for feeding infants genetically modified material, which was at the time not approved “in any nation, not even in the country of origin, the United States.” Although accusations against the study were called alarmist in 2006 through 2007, these cries against GM food seem not so exaggerated now, when they are all but ubiquitous in our food chain and daily lives.
GM Effects on People, Animals, and the Planet
“It is unwise to produce drugs in plants outdoors,” policy advocacy group Union of Concerned Scientists warned Ventria. “There would be little control over the doses people might get exposed to, and some might be allergic to the proteins.”
Ventria chief executive Scott Deeter had contrasting views, claiming that concerns about the safety and contamination of their product were “based on perception, not reality.”
(Fast-forward to 2012, when farmers launched a landmark lawsuit against Monsanto for widespread contamination of organic crops with GMOs. As much as 93 percent of soybeans are now GM.)
GM Doesn’t Solve Problems
Ventria also claimed that their genetically modified rice could save up to two million children annually. Similar arguments are made daily by Monsanto and Bill Gates, who have teamed up to make developing regions grow GM food.
While studies are ongoing, it’s becoming increasingly clear that GM crop production increases the use of devastatingly toxic pesticides and herbicides and decreases yield over time, not least of all thanks to nutrient depletion of the soil and pollution of water and local areas.
Effects on people and animals—the farmers who apply the pesticides; the locals and animals who drink the local, polluted water; and the consumers who eat the food—look grim as well.
The Biotech Industry Doesn’t Want What You Want
Nevertheless, in 2007, the US Department of Agriculture gave Ventria the go-ahead to begin growing in Kansas, saying the genetically modified rice posed “virtually no risk.” That wasn’t enough for Anheuser-Busch when Ventria first proposed growing in Missouri; the avid rice buyer threatened to boycott Missouri, citing fears of contamination and consumer response.
“Plants are phenomenal factories,” Deeter said in a deceptively humble statement. “Our raw materials are the sun, soil, and water.”
Friends of the Earth campaigner Clare Oxborrow’s warning makes a fitting response: “Using food crops and fields as glorified drug factories is a very worrying development.”
7 thoughts on “Flashback: The Genetically Modified Rice Made with Human Genes”
This Disgusts me. GMO Franken foods should be immediatly removed from our Food Chain. When I become president I will outlaw the creation of GMO "Food". Absolutly no Trans-Species GMO "foods"…We ALL need to stand up together and Swarm our elected representatives. They don't like to be outed. Demand this and a whole host of other common concerns. We want our country back. We want to be part of the future of our country. Well get up and work to make your future the reality that you/we want. I'm all in how about you. Become a citizen of the new Independent United States of America.
Better to learn GENESIS when Almighty GOD create world with its inclusive, He warned about manipulating food not because he have scarcity of seed but for heath safety food and not plenty of dangerous food, to eat one another it is kind of savitches.
I believe that we have to DEMAND an end to all GMO's. Our governments don't seem to want to listen. They worry about all the killings in the Middle East but are oblivious to the fact that they are allowing companies like Monsanto kill their own citizens.
I don't know what it will take? Our own politicians, the FDA etc. aren't looking out for us.
It all comes down to greed and being paid out by these multi million dollar DEMONIC companies like Monsanto!
Citizens should have gotten together and written contracts that had to be signed by politicians who swore that they would put an end to GMO's before the last elections, and only those only politicians would be voted in by the American citizens. If they would not live up to the contract, they would be removed from office.
We have to get TOUGH! Nothing else is working.
Remember the movie Solent Green with Edward G Robenson
1st Vote we can do
I've gotten to where I call the manufacturer, like ARGO on their cornstarch the other day, and ask if they use GM/GE corn or real corn. They said they used whatever corn is grown and do use modified corn. Guess what I haven't bought since then. You vote with your dollar and I vote no. I found out locally our Food City sold Clabber Girl Baking Soda (not good, has aluminum), but their Corn Starch only uses real corn, except Food City didn't carry their Corn Starch, Rumsford also uses no GM/GE Corn, they don't sell that either. So I voted no again and went to a Grocer that does sell it. In the process I found that Arrowroot works the same.
The 2nd vote we can do
Quit buying stock in not only Monsanto and other chemical corporations that want to destroy food, but research companies that research how to destroy us with food. Companies that do business or are affiliated with these corporations. That also includes websites that spread their lies or doesn't shun them away. Make it Treason if the elected official accepts money or a job from a corporation after election that had any impact on anything to do with the people who they are suppose to represent. Make Lobbying (legal bribery) illegial, like it is in every other position held by the general public.
Make it so they are not welcomed back home in the state they sold out. Like anybody else, screw over the people and they will not want to live where they committed their crimes.
Yes I sure do -> http://timeless-environments.blogspot.se/2012/06/sci-fi-classic-thats-become-todays.html