Genes From Genetically Engineered Foods Could Be Detected in Brain

Thanks to Mothers for Natural Law Biweekly News,
Cliff Kinzel and Richard Wolfson.
Date: 12 Aug 1998 15:14:20 -0500 From: "Clare Watson"
Subject: Fw: Do genes get destroyed in the gut?

PRESS RELEASE Weds. 12th August 1998

Research Highlights Risk of using Viral Promoter Genes in New Foods

Fragments of artificial genes inserted into foods were detected in the brain cells of baby mice in research conducted Dr. Walter Doefler of the Institute of Genetics, University of Cologne.(1) Conventional wisdom had previously assumed that genetic material was destroyed in the process of digestion. The research emerged on the UTV World in Action programme last Monday.

"This has huge implications for the use of genetically engineered foods" said Quentin Gargan of Genetic Concern. "Industry would have us believe that genetic engineering is a simple technology in which a single naturally occurring gene is taken from one plant and inserted into another, but nothing could be further from the truth".

We may have a gene which gives us blue eyes, and this gene exists in every cell in our body - part of this gene is a promoter region which ensures that it is only switched on in cells in our eyes - otherwise, every part of our body would be blue from our hair to our toenails.

When genes are inserted into a plant, they are accompanied by a promoter region from a virus. This promoter ensures that the gene is switched on at all times and in all parts of the plant. Viruses such as the cauliflower mosaic virus and a figwort virus have promoter regions which are highly active, and these are included in genes which were inserted into the sugar beet currently being tested in field trials by Monsanto around the country.

"The idea that fragments of DNA from viral promoters could find their way into cells of new born babies is a frightening prospect", said Mr Gargan "yet Monsanto admitted in the World in Action programme that they do not conduct long term testing of these genetically engineered foods".

(1) Journal of molecular genetics and genetics Vol 242: 495-504, 1994

Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 10:50:34 -0400
From: joe cummins
Subject: Uptake of food genes into embryo
To: Ban-GEF

Prof. Joe Cummins e-mail

The study below shows that food genes not only get into adult tissues but also invade the unborn!

Uptake of foreign DNA from the environment: the gastrointestinal tract and the placenta as portals of entry [see comments]
Doerfler W; Schubbert R
Institut fur Genetik, Universitat zu Koln, Federal Republic of Germany.
Wien Klin Wochenschr, 110(2):40-4 1998 Jan 30
Foreign DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is part of our environment. Considerable amounts of foreign DNA of very different origin are ingested daily with food. In a series of experiments we fed the DNA of bacteriophage M13 as test DNA to mice and showed that fragments of this DNA survive the passage through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract in small amounts (1-2%). Food-ingested M13 DNA reaches peripheral white blood cells, the spleen and liver via the intestinal epithelia and cells in the Peyer's patches of the intestinal wall. There is evidence to assume that food-ingested foreign DNA can become covalently linked to mouse-like DNA. When M13 DNA is fed to pregnant mice the test DNA can be detected in cells in various organs of the fetuses and of newborn animals, but never in all cells of the mouse fetus. It is likely that the M13 DNA is transferred by the transplacental route and not via the germ line. The consequences of foreign DNA uptake for mutagenesis and oncogenesis have not yet been investigated.