I think I can prove a possible connection between Genetically Modified Drugs/Foods and SuperBugs, antibiotic resistance bacterial infections. Bear will me as I present the research to support my conclusion which was inspired by FRONTLINE this week.
One of my life teachers taught me "If you ask the wrong question, you always get the wrong answer." Frontline presented Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria aka drug-resistent bacteria last night (transcript here). One line got my attention:
It lives in the digestive system, and like NDM-1, it’s a gene that can spread its resistance to other bacteria.Having a modicum of knowledge about the history of genetic modification, this question jumped out
Is there a correlation between using E Coli and antibiotic resistant genes to produce GMOs and the SuperBugs that seem to develop in the digestive tract where E Coli exists? Or, in short, can GMOs play a part in the creation of SuperBugs?I would hope that scientists here and abroad have asked this question and are working tirelessly to make sure that GMOs don't play any role in the development of SuperBugs.
I invite those with greater knowledge to participate and to provide links to independant studies when presenting their scientific opinions that are not written by GMO industry scientists. This is an important debate.
If you haven't watched the show FRONTLINE: Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria click this video link
Equally important to this discussion below is a video called Seeds of Death. Click to watch.
I recommend taking the time to watch these two videos. After the Frontline show, I rewatched Seeds of Death and felt some research into The Question above would be time well spent. I wasn't disappointed.
The future of GMOs IS SUCH AN EXTREMELY IMPORTANT ISSUE it's worth a little time to discover what I found today. So please read on.
Here's what I found. I will be interested in reading your opinion(s) about the applicability of The Question after you have read the following.
The following runs at a fast clip out of respect for your time. It's not as much reading as appears at first glance. You might get the gist by reading the copy in bold print. However, if you want to dig more deeply, read and even click on any orange or brown copy to be taken to the indepth articles I quote.
This article will briefly provide
The genetic modification history (Recombinant DNA),It is no small problem that a Monsanto Executive moves to, from, and back to the FDA
The history of genetically modified drugs and foods (GMOs),
The history of antibiotic resistent bacteria; and
The rates of GMO drugs and foods in our diet.
I don't believe I am asking the wrong question.
From the Lancet:
During the past 10 years, multidrug-resistant Gram-negative Enterobacteriaceae have become a substantial challenge to infection control.Genetic modification is a human activity.
The reservoir of resistance genes in the environment is due to a mix of naturally occurring resistance and those present in animal and human waste and the selective effects of pollutants, which can co-select for mobile genetic elements carrying multiple resistant genes. Less attention has been given to how anthropogenic (human) activity might be causing evolution of antibiotic resistance in the environment.
This year the World Health Organization (WHO) produced 20 questions on genetically modified foods WHO's Question 5 addresses and might answer my question. Please pay attention to each word in this paragraph:
Q5. What are the main issues of concern for human health?There you have it. Antibiotic resistance genes are used in the creation of GMOs. Also, the possibility of gene transfer takes place in the gastrointestinal tract aka the digestive system.
Gene transfer from GM foods to cells of the body or to bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract would cause concern if the transferred genetic material adversely affects human health.
This would be particularly relevant if antibiotic resistance genes, used in creating GMOs, were to be TRANSFERRED.
Although the probability of transfer is low, the use of technology without antibiotic resistance genes has been encouraged by a recent FAO/WHO expert panel.
In this scientific study Antibiotic Resistance, Biofilms andQuorum Sensing in Acinetobacter Species it states
One investigation revealed that gene transfer in biofilms occurs far more frequently than previously noticed (Hausner & Wuertz, 1999)Remember the FRONTLINE comment that peaked my attention?
It lives in the digestive system, and like NDM-1, it’s a gene that can spread its resistance to other bacteria.A gene that can spread its resistance to other bacteria....in the digestive tract. How many bacteria live in the digestive tract?
This study generated >32 million paired-end sequences of bacterial 16S rRNA genes (V3 region) representing >95,000 unique operational taxonomic unitsHISTORYOF GENETIC MODIFICATION or Recombinant DNA
Genentech was founded in 1976 by venture capitalist Robert A. Swanson and biochemist Dr. Herbert W. Boyer. In the early 1970s, Boyer and geneticist Stanley Cohen pioneered a new scientific field called recombinant DNA technology. They formed a company, Genentech.
1977 - Genentech produced the first human protein (somatostatin) in a microorganism (E. coli bacteria).E Coli is commonly used as a medium for genetic modification.
1978 - Human insulin cloned by Genentech scientists.
1979 - Human growth hormone cloned by Genentech scientists.
1982 - First recombinant DNA drug marketed: human insulin (licensed to Eli Lilly and Company).
From the American Society for Microbiology
The growing increase in the rates of antibiotic resistance is a major cause for concern in both nonfermenting bacilli and isolates of the Enterobacteriaceae family.Let's look at the Enterobacteriaceae family.
One isolate of the Enterobacteriaceae family is E Coli.
HISTORY OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS (GMOS)
This video provides a great History of Genetically Modified Foods. The music is a bit irritating so you might want to turn down the volume.
THE HISTORY OF DRUG-RESISTANT BACTERIA - SUPERBUGS
This chart shows the rise in MRSA which isn't a gene transfer disease as much as a disease that progressed to drug resistance over a span of decades. Improvements in hygiene have helped reduce nosocomial MRSA infections.
CRE, which stands for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, are a family of germs that are difficult to treat because they have high levels of resistance to antibiotics. Klebsiella species and Escherichia coli (E. coli) are examples of Enterobacteriaceae, a normal part of the human gut bacteria, that can become carbapenem-resistant. Types of CRE are sometimes known as KPC (Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase) and NDM-1 (New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactamase). KPC and NDM are enzymes that break down carbapenems and make them ineffective.1996 KPC First Detected - A patient in North Carolina
KPCs acquired their name because they were first detected in K. pneumoniae, and this is still the species most likely to harbor them.2009 NDM-1 First Detected - New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactamase-1 (NDM-1)
KPCs have spread across the East coast of the United States and are now considered endemic in certain areas of New York and New Jersey.
KPC genes are typically located on mobile genetic elements, especially a particular transposon known as Tn4401, which facilitates TRANSFER between plasmids and across bacterial species.
Since 2005, outbreaks have occurred all over the world, including Israel, Colombia, Greece, France, India, Norway, Sweden, China, Puerto Rico, Argentina, and Brazil
The most common bacteria that make this enzyme are Gram-negative such as Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae, but the gene for NDM-1 can spread from one strain of bacteria to another by horizontal gene TRANSFERTHE RATES OF GMO DRUGS AND FOODS IN OUR DIET
...most carbapenem-resistant bacteria isolated from patients carried the blaNDM-1 gene.
DRUGS: Milllions of people worldwide have used genetically modified, synthetic insulin for decades.
Since the early 1980s, many genetically engineered drugs have been developed and approved for the treatment of patients
They include hormones, enzymes, growth and coagulation factors, antibodies as well as vaccines. All these proteins are generated using recombinant DNA technology.Genetically Modified Foods
Let me first state that, if you are eating restaurant and/or processed foods, you are eating genetically modified foods, with exceptions of course. How could I make such a bold statement? Follow me below
This map shows the # of hectares each country has dedicated to growing GMOs. A hectare equals 2.471 acres. This map is taken from this report:
ISAAA Brief 44-2012: Executive Summary
Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops: 2012
Biotech Crop hectares increased by an unprecedented 100-fold,
from 1.7 million hectares (4,200,700 acres) in 1996, to 170 million hectares (420,070,000 acres) in 2012.
2012 was the 17th year of commercialization of biotech crops, 1996-2012, when growth continued after a remarkable 16 consecutive years of increases.
Since US maize and US soybean exports represent 53% and 43% of global maize and soybean exports,
First biotech drought tolerant maize to be deployed in the US in 2013.
Notably, the same technology, has been donated by the technology developers, Monsanto and BASF, to a Private/Public sector partnership (WEMA) which hopes to release the first biotech drought tolerant maize as early as 2017 in sub-Saharan Africa where the need for drought tolerance is greatest
Do you enjoy fried foods? Chances are, it's fried in GMO soy bean and/or cotton seed oil. Both are derived from GMO seeds. MacDonalds uses this combination, In and Out Burgers fries in cottonseed oil. Potato chips, too. Fish is canned in cottonseed oil. Check your processed food labels for cottonseed oil.
The four largest producing countries of cottonseed oil in 2008/09 (crop year) accounted for about the two thirds of world production (three of them are developing countries).NDM-1 launched in New Delhi, India in 2009. Cotton is the only GMO grown in India. Cottonseed oil is the cheapest oil available for cooking. Cottonseed oil rules the kitchens of Gujarat as cheapest cooking oil
Their relative shares were:
United States: 8%
GMO cotton/cottonseed was introduced in 2002. In 2009-10 India produced 1.2 million tonnes of cottonseed oil for local consumption.
Prior to GMO cottonseed oil, in 2001 Illegal GMO's were Found in Isomil Baby Formula and Pringles Potato Chips in India!
Corn Syrup is in a very large percentage of processed foods, drinks, and condiments.
Do you eat Popcorn? Corn anything? 90% of US corn is genetically modified.
Cheese? Between 80 and 90 per cent of cheese in the USA and Great Britain is manufactured using chymosin produced using gene technology,
Thanksgiving? Tomatoes, corn, squashes, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and rice all have genetically engineered varieties currently on the market.
Oils? Oils from cottonseed, canola (rapeseed), soy and sunflowers can all contain engineered ingredients.
Even baking powder can be a GMO. Milk can be tainted with engineered bovine growth hormone
Your turkey could have been fed commercial feed with a variety of engineered ingredients. Because our country conducts no non-industry funded, peer-reviewed safety tests of such feed, we have no way of knowing if antibiotic resistance, viral promoters or unstable variations of transgenes can be carried over from feed to the animals that have eaten them.Organic labeled food is not supposed to be a GMO. Strive for organic.
Beets and more squash varieties; lettuce, plum tomatoes, carrots, grapes, peppers, and onions; raspberries, strawberries, bananas, pineapples, watermelons and other melons, apples, grapefruit, and grapes; cranberries; transgenic wheat; Engineered sugarcane and GE coffee are in field trials.IN CONCLUSION:
The unasked question will never be answered.
It seems clear to me that the question must be asked:
Is there a correlation between using E Coli and antibiotic resistant genes to produce GMOs and the SuperBugs that seem to develop in the digestive tract where E Coli exists? Or, in short, can GMOs play a part in the creation of SuperBugs?The WHO is concerned about gene transfer because antibiotic resistant bacteria are used in the process of creating GMOs. Has this already happened with NDM-1 and KPC?
If you watched the Seeds of Death video you will have learned that GMO safety studies in the US and elsewhere have been thwarted by revolving door employees of the GMO manufacturers and the very government agencies responsible for our food safety.
I believe we have a right to demand independent research to study the possibility of GENE TRANSFER from GMOs to the human digestive tract bacteria that could result in antibiotic resistant bacteria.
The mortality rate is approximately 50%, high enough to warrant real studies.
Possibly not related but important to note. There are reports concluding that GMO ingestion can greatly reduce fertility and increase infant mortality.
You can check out these reports.
Here's a disconcerting study out of Russia.
After feeding hamsters for two years over three generations, those on the GM diet, and especially the group on the maximum GM soy diet, showed devastating results. By the third generation, most GM soy-fed hamsters lost the ability to have babies. They also suffered slower growth, and a high mortality rate among the pups.An very conservative 2008 Austrian study concluded on Page 90
Summarising the study, the maize with the stacked event NK603 x MON810 affected the reproduction of mice in the RACB trial.A Comparison of the Effects of Three GM Corn Varieties on Mammalian Health
Our analysis highlights that the kidneys and liver as particularly important on which to focus such research as there was a clear negative impact on the function of these organs in rats consuming GM maize varieties for just 90 days.If the few studies are reporting negative impacts on the health of the test animals, is it a quantum leap to surmise that prolonged ingestion of GMO products could weaken the body's resistance sufficiently that a SuperBug could grab a foot hold? Or, perhaps better stated:
Is it possible that a human body that has ingested genetically modified substances for a prolonged period of time become a stage for the antibiotic resistant enzymes to gene transfer to digestive tract bacteria and mutate into a SuperBug?
Advanced, cutting edge Farmer feeds GMO corn to his pigs: they all become sterile.
As far as I am concerned, any study done by anyone connected to the biotech companies producing GMOs have no merit or standing.
Studies like these found on NIH co-authoried by B Hammond. B Hammond (Bruce G) who has or leads the food toxicology team at Monsanto and is past President and has held various positions with the Society of Toxicology's Food Safety Specialty Section.
We are talking about the health and welfare of the peoples of the entire planet!