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GMO Vaccines – What’s next?


One of my patients sent me a clip from Joseph Mercola MD’s newsletter[1] about genetically modified vaccines, so I started to do some research on the subject.

Nothing forces anyone to grow, or not to grow, genetically modified crops. If farmers truly believe that these crops have higher yield and require less pesticide application in order to grow unhindered by weeds, then by all means, they should have the right to buy the seed, and the bioengineering companies should have the right to manufacture the seeds.

By the same token, we, the people who eat the crops, should have the right to know whether we are eating them, or whether we are eating old fashined genetically unmodified crops.

We should have the right to know whether the meat that we eat has been fed, when it was alive, with old fashioned unmodified crops and grass, or whether it has been fed genetically modified corn, soy, and alfalfa.

If the meat produced is healthier – or at least as healthy – as the grass-fed variety, then bring it on. If not, then we should have some way of distinguishing the two kinds of meat, so that we may make an informed decision.

And now we learn that the Hepatitis B vaccine given to our infants at birth is a recombinant DNA vaccine, with parts of the virus cloned into yeast? This technology has been used since 1981. Did anyone ever describe the recombinant technology to us? Or ask whether we agreed to have our infants vaccinated?

From the website describing one of the vaccines produced by this method[2], we read: “The procedures used to manufacture ENGERIX-B result in a product that contains no more than 5% yeast protein.”

The yeast used is Saccharomyces cereviciae, a normal constituent of the GI tract. Its proteins are not normally injected directly into our tissues. Do you not suppose that we might make antibodies to the yeast proteins as well as to the hepatitis B proteins? Is it any wonder that so many people in these times have abnormal and excessive reactions to the yeasts which should be growing happily in our GI tracts?

And do we not worry about the viruses we create causing mutations in other viruses[3] with whom they come into contact? One of the functions of viruses, as best I can tell, is to help organisms transfer genes from one to another. This normally happens fairly slowly, in vivo, one organism, one human being, at a time. That way, if a gene transfer happens to be a disaster, at least it doesn’t involve the entire population of humans at the same time. But that is not what we are doing when we modify millions of organisms at the same time, and then clone them to use in ways that we think will be helpful for the human race (and incidentally for our own bank accounts).

I realize that we physicians feel that it is better to protect against disease than to treat it. This is particularly true for hepatitis B, because so many people in the world have it, and so many die of it. But is it not important also to minimize collateral damage? And if we are not even aware that there may be collateral damage, then how can we possibly minimize it? And if there are indeed as many carriers of the virus as we are told, then perhaps our efforts are better spent figuring out what makes some people carriers without ever developing illness…

I no longer buy milk labeled “recombinant rGBH” because I do not wish to use a product made from cows treated with recombinant bovine growth hormone.

I no longer buy anything made from corn or soy, unless it is labeled “organic”.

I no longer buy zucchini if they are all the same size on the shelf, because I worry that they are probably genetically engineered. We still come down to the basics:
– buy only that which you can recognize as food.
– buy organic whenever possible.
– be judicious about which vaccines you allow your child to receive… and make every effort to learn about how they are made.

We all have the choice. There is power in the pocketbook. Let us exercise that power.