30 GM Babies & AMA Recants GMO! July 5/12
by MICHAEL HANLON, Daily Mail
The world's first geneticallymodified humans have been created, it was revealed last night.
The disclosure that 30 healthy babies were born after a series of experiments in the United States provoked another furious debate about ethics.
So far, two of the babies have been tested and have been found to contain genes from three 'parents'.
Fifteen of the children were born in the past three years as a result of one experimental programme at the Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science of St Barnabas in New Jersey.
The babies were born to women who had problems conceiving. Extra genes from a female donor were inserted into their eggs before they were fertilised in an attempt to enable them to conceive.
Genetic fingerprint tests on two one-year- old children confirm that they have inherited DNA from three adults --two women and one man.
The fact that the children have inherited the extra genes and incorporated them into their 'germline' means that they will, in turn, be able to pass them on to their own offspring.
Altering the human germline - in effect tinkering with the very make-up of our species - is a technique shunned by the vast majority of the world's scientists.
Geneticists fear that one day this method could be used to create new races of humans with extra, desired characteristics such as strength or high intelligence.
Writing in the journal Human Reproduction, the researchers, led by fertility pioneer Professor Jacques Cohen, say that this 'is the first case of human germline genetic modification resulting in normal healthy children'.
Some experts severely criticised the experiments. Lord Winston, of the Hammersmith Hospital in West London, told the BBC yesterday: 'Regarding the treat-ment of the infertile, there is no evidence that this technique is worth doing . . . I am very surprised that it was even carried out at this stage. It would certainly not be allowed in Britain.'
John Smeaton, national director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, said: 'One has tremendous sympathy for couples who suffer infertility problems. But this seems to be a further illustration of the fact that the whole process of in vitro fertilisation as a means of conceiving babies leads to babies being regarded as objects on a production line.
'It is a further and very worrying step down the wrong road for humanity.' Professor Cohen and his colleagues diagnosed that the women were infertile because they had defects in tiny structures in their egg cells, called mitochondria.
They took eggs from donors and, using a fine needle, sucked some of the internal material - containing 'healthy' mitochondria - and injected it into eggs from the women wanting to conceive.
Because mitochondria contain genes, the babies resulting from the treatment have inherited DNA from both women. These genes can now be passed down the germline along the maternal line.
A spokesman for the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which regulates 'assisted reproduction' technology in Britain, said that it would not license the technique here because it involved altering the germline.
Jacques Cohen is regarded as a brilliant but controversial scientist who has pushed the boundaries of assisted reproduction technologies.
He developed a technique which allows infertile men to have their own children, by injecting sperm DNA straight into the egg in the lab.
Prior to this, only infertile women were able to conceive using IVF. Last year, Professor Cohen said that his expertise would allow him to clone children --a prospect treated with horror by the mainstream scientific community.
'It would be an afternoon's work for one of my students,' he said, adding that he had been approached by 'at least three' individuals wishing to create a cloned child, but had turned down their requests.
AMA Recants GMO Stance July 3/12
Elizabeth Renter NaturalSociety
June 23, 2012
This week the American Medical Association (AMA) voted to revise policy, recommending that foods made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have mandatory pre-market safety testing. In the battle against foods made with GMOs, we’ll take any bit of advancement as a small victory. But far more needs to be done.
The AMA held a meeting in Chicago to discuss the change, according to the Chicago Tribune. It was there that they voted on the policy, sending a clear signal to the Food and Drug Administration that more needs to be done to answer the calls of concerned consumers when it comes to GMO foods. Previously, the AMA has also voiced potential support for the labeling of GMOs.
As it stands, GMO foods are not subject to any testing or measures beyond what any other foods are. Instead, they are “simply encouraged to engage in a voluntary safety consultation” with the FDA prior to releasing a GMO food onto the market. While the general public isn’t privy to what goes on in these consultations, the FDAs stance on GMO foods would lead one to believe they are pretty unremarkable.
Some were hoping the AMA would come out in support of GMO labeling. More than one million Americans have signed a petition on the Just Label It website, sending a clear message to the FDA that we want to know what’s in our food. Fifty countries worldwide have already passed such legislation, requiring GMO foods to be labeled as such.
“We wholeheartedly commend AMA for coming out in support of mandatory pre-market safety assessment of (genetically engineered) foods,” said Michael Hanson of the Consumers Union. But, are disappointed that the AMA did not also support mandatory labeling…Studies in the scientific literature have suggested that genetic engineering could introduce new food allergens, increase the levels of known allergens, raise or lower nutrient levels and have adverse effects on the animals that eat such foods.”
What hasn’t changed in AMA policy is their core belief that GMO foods are essentially no different than non-GMO foods.
The FDA has not commented on the AMA recommendations but did say, “New foods have an obligation under the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act to ensure that the foods they offer consumers are safe and in compliance with applicable legal requirements. In meeting their obligation, firms do conduct premarket safety testing.”
True, companies are required to ensure food safety. But they aren’t required to use objective research. In other words, it’s their own scientists who are being paid to provide a safety evaluation. Can you guess whose side these scientists are on? Yes, likely the ones signing their paychecks.
If you haven’t already, take a moment to sign the Just Label It campaign petition and tell the FDA you GMO food labeled.
Read more: http://naturalsociety.com/ama-recommends-pre-market-safety-testing-gmo-foods/#ixzz1zEWfRkZn