"GMO" Professor Voytas Genome Editing Pioneer Violated Biosafety Rules for 2 years creating many GMO food and medical plants - NIH does nothing

adam

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No mainstream news coverage as both NIH and University fail to take action against illegal genetic engineering in University Lab.

Daniel Voytas, a professor at the University of Minnesota and the co-inventor of the genome editing tool TALENs, has been found to have violated basic laboratory biosafety rules for a period of more than two years.

Voytas’ case is a concrete demonstration of the weakness of genetic engineering oversight in the United States. The project operated with nine people working over a period of more than two years at a prominent lab on a university campus without being detected and without biosafety approval.


Without seeking or obtaining required safety approvals, Voytas and eight members of his lab genetically engineered a dozen species of plants in a project that lasted from October 2017 through December 2019.

The University of Minnesota institutional biosafety committee (IBC) and the University’s biosafety office were unaware of the experiments

The project, many details of which have yet to be released, was discovered by the IBC’s Assistant Director in December 2019.

By that time, according to an incident report filed with the US federal government, the Voytas team had engineered twelve plant species, including a number of food crops.

Two widely cultivated species of peppers (Capsicum) were altered, along with tomatoes, potatoes, grapes, and sunflower. Other species genetically engineered without oversight included the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana as well as Moricandia arvensis, a wild crucifer of interest as a potential source of photosynthesis genes for the large family of brassica crops, including rapeseed (canola) and vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, pak choi, and turnips.

The Voytas lab also transformed other plants without the required approval, including plants with medicinal uses such as Nicotiana benthamiana, an Australian relative of cultivated tobacco, sweet briar (Rosa rubiginosa), periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus), and petunias (Petunia axillaris

On 30 January 2020, the University belatedly reported the over two year old violationsthat it had belatedly discovered – apparently more than a month earlier – to the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), which oversees genetic engineering laboratory safety in the US.

Rot and Responsibility
What went wrong at the Voytas lab? Does the University or the federal government care? Until the University comes forward with additional information, it is hard to precisely know.

One thing that does seem clear is that there were no serious consequences for the violations, a fact that will encourage more rogue gene editing at US universities.

 
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Nov 12, 2020
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A very concerning article. One would expect that government oversight and liability laws would preclude such hubris and cavalier experimentation. Perhaps not? I now "think twice" about GMO food stuffs.
 

adam

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GMO Food should be clearly labelled

The media does not discuss the GMO risks or show the benefits

"sometimes the genes of human and plant viruses are interchangeable, while on other occasions inserting plant viral fragments as transgenes has caused the genetically altered plant to become susceptible to an animal virus"


"In general, viral genes expressed in plants raise both agronomic and human health concerns (reviewed in Latham and Wilson, 2008). This is because many viral genes function to disable their host in order to facilitate pathogen invasion. Often, this is achieved by incapacitating specific anti-pathogen defenses. Incorporating such genes could clearly lead to undesirable and unexpected outcomes in agriculture. Furthermore, viruses that infect plants are often not that different from viruses that infect humans. For example, sometimes the genes of human and plant viruses are interchangeable, while on other occasions inserting plant viral fragments as transgenes has caused the genetically altered plant to become susceptible to an animal virus (Dasgupta et al., 2001). Thus, in various ways, inserting viral genes accidentally into crop plants and the food supply confers a significant potential for harm."




EU’s GMO Regulator Ignored Human Health Warnings Over a Monsanto Insecticidal Corn



Hidden Health Dangers: A Former Agbiotech Insider Wants His GMO Crops Pulled
October 8, 2018
By Caius Rommens


After I received my PhD, I went to the University of California in Berkeley to help develop a new branch of genetic engineering.

Monsanto liked my work and invited me to lead its new disease control program in St. Louis in 1995.

I should not have accepted the invitation. I knew, even then, that pathogens cannot be controlled by single genes. They evolve too quickly around any barrier to infection. It takes about two to three decades for insects and plants to overcome a resistance gene, but it takes only a few years, at most, for pathogens to do the same.

I did accept the invitation, though, and the next six years became a true boot camp in genetic engineering. I learned to apply many tricks about how to change the character of plants and I learned to stop worrying about the consequences of such changes.

In 2000, I left Monsanto and started an independent biotech program at J.R. Simplot Company in Boise, Idaho. Simplot is one of the largest potato processors in the world.

My book describes the many hidden issues of GMO potatoes, but GMO potatoes are not the exception. They are the rule. I could just as well have written (and may write) about the experimental GMO varieties we developed at Monsanto, which contains an antifungal protein that I now recognize as allergenic, about the disease resistance that caused insect sensitivity, or about anything else in genetic engineering.

On May 3rd 2018 the columnist Michael Gerson wrote in the Washington Post: “Anti-GMO is anti-science.” His statement was echoed by Mitch Daniels, his colleague, who added, “[It] isn’t just anti-science. It’s immoral.” But these two columnists are not scientists. They don’t understand the level of bias and self-deception that exists among genetic engineers. Indeed, anyone who is pro-science should understand that science is meant to study nature, not to modify it—and certainly not to predict, in the face of strong evidence, the absence of unintended effects.

The real anti-science movement is not on the streets. It is, as I discovered, in the laboratories of corporate America.

https://www.independentsciencenews.org/page/1/?s=GMO
 
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adam

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Note "sometimes the genes of human and plant viruses are interchangeable, while on other occasions inserting plant viral fragments as transgenes has caused the genetically altered plant to become susceptible to an animal virus."

Dr Jonathan Latham

Here is a documentary presentation from Dr Latham

Dr. Latham holds a Masters degree in Crop Genetics and a PhD in Virology. He was subsequently a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Genetics, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Prior to heading the Bioscience Resource Project he published scientific papers in disciplines as diverse as plant ecology, plant virology and genetics.

Dr Latham discusses why gene editing is highly risky, not precise and creates huge potential risks to human health and well being

GMOs are a failed Technology. The future is GMO Free - cheaper, better quality and yields from GMO free farming even in industrial farming.

View docu presentation from 44 mins on

View: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=p-c33wZGs74&feature=youtu.be


GMO plants and animals leave open long term unknown risks to human, plant and animal health and are totally unnecessary. The animals and plants we eat effect our health.

There is no food shortage and conventional farming has been shown to produce cheaper, better quality food of far higher yields than GMO with techniques that can be used on small to industrial scale farms without requiring additional capital labor chemicals or toxins and in many cases requiring much less water

https://forums.livescience.com/threads/gmo-myth-revealed-planting-standard-crops-less-intensively-sets-world-record-yield-without-using-toxins-gmo-risks-fertilizers-and-is-much-cheaper.5018/post-18667

The GMO risks have parallels to the failure to openly discuss the high risks of gain of function virus research and for the supression of those seeking to openly discuss the risks and the evidence provided by GMOs already in the water, plant and animal human food chain

Dr Latham

many viral genes function to disable their host in order to facilitate pathogen invasion. Often, this is achieved by incapacitating specific anti-pathogen defenses.

Incorporating such genes could clearly lead to undesirable and unexpected outcomes in agriculture.

Furthermore, viruses that infect plants are often not that different from viruses that infect humans.

For example, sometimes the genes of human and plant viruses are interchangeable, while on other occasions inserting plant viral fragments as transgenes has caused the genetically altered plant to become susceptible to an animal virus (Dasgupta et al., 2001).

Thus, in various ways, inserting viral genes accidentally into crop plants and the food supply confers a significant potential for harm.

 
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