(NaturalHealth365) Are we ready for genetically engineered humans designed to increase corporate profits? As we speak, there are lots of scientists that believe we can, eventually, eliminate disease and ‘unwanted’ traits. There’s only one catch – the corporations funding this research may own our lives – if they are successful.
The concept is fairly simple – genetically ‘improve’ faulty genes for future generations. If this hypothesis proves successful – in humans – it will potentially lead to a new frontier in genetic manipulation. Does this sound healthy to you?
Will genetically engineered babies grow up healthy?
The main argument used in favor of genetically engineering babies is that it offers some kind of prevention against chronic diseases like, metabolic syndrome, cancer, type-2 diabetes, obesity and hypertension.
Do scientists really believe they can design a ‘disease-free’ society? Check out what Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology has to say…
“Using modified sperm to insert genetic material has the potential to be a major breakthrough not only in future research, but also in human medicine.”
I ask you – is this kind of thinking getting us ‘back to nature’? First, we have genetically engineered plants – which a French GMO corn study has proven to be a serious threat to human health; now we have to deal with the horrendous consequences of DNA altered babies? In truth, science has already shown that a healthy lifestyle can have a positive influence on gene expression.
The human genetic experiment has already begun
Human gene therapy has been ongoing since 1990, but most of this scientific work has involved non-heritable genes, called somatic (non-sex cell) gene therapy. Somatic modifications only affect the individual and are not passed on, and so do not affect the human genome.
But, the game has changed with the successful birth of at least 30 genetically modified babies – up to 2001. Half of the babies engineered from one clinic developed defects, so the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stepped in and asserted jurisdiction over “the use of human cells that receive genetic material by means other than the union of gamete nuclei” (sperm and egg nuclei).
Now the FDA is considering going forward with “oocyte modification” – which involves genetic material from a second woman, whereby offspring will carry the DNA from three parents. These kinds of genetic changes (“germline modification”) alter the human genome.
How science wants to literally alter our future
Mitochondrial replacement is a form of inheritable genetic modification. This type of procedure is the source of controversy; it permanently changes the human genome and risks unforeseeable changes in human growth, development and aging.
As late as 2008, all germline modification therapies and enhancements were banned in 83% of the 30 nations making up the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), including the US and UK, as reported by the Center for Genetics and Society (CGS).
In June of this year, the United Kingdom reversed its long-standing policy against germline modification, and decided to go ahead with three-parent babies. Regulations on the procedure are now being drafted and Members of Parliament are expected to vote on the issue in 2014.
The ‘dream’ of eugenics has arrived
Making humans better, smarter, stronger has long been the goal of eugenicists. Of course, most eugenicists has little regard for ‘inferior’ human beings. Germline enhancement has also been seriously proposed as a means of creating people with novel cognitive, psychological, and behavioral traits that they would constitute a new human.
The danger of ‘playing God’ must be considered. Paul Knoepfler, Associate Professor of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine said:
“Moving one oocyte nucleus into the enucleated oocyte of another person could trigger all kinds of devastating problems (most likely through epigenetic changes) that might not manifest until you try to make a human being out of it. Then it’s too late.”
Stuart A. Newman, Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy at New York Medical College, voiced strong doubt about the safety and efficacy of this technique in an article earlier this year – pointing out that it is extremely unlikely that billions of years of evolutionary complexity could be tweaked with any predictable outcome.
How do corporations profit from GM babies?
The Fertility Institutes stunned the fertility community by being the first company to boldly offer couples the opportunity to screen their embryos not only for diseases and gender, but also for completely benign characteristics such as eye color, hair color, and complexion.
But, this is where science fails to teach the truth.
Rather than looking to design healthy babies through genetic engineering it is far more sensible to look to improving our environment – including our food supply.
Recent studies have shown how nutrition dramatically alters the health and appearance of otherwise identical mice. A study at Duke University showed how mouse clones, implanted as embryos, in separate mothers will have radical differences in fur color, weight, and risk for chronic diseases – depending on what the mother was fed during pregnancy.
This study showed what the nutrients vs. lack of them did. Another new study coming out of the University of Groningen, in the Netherlands, delineated the many ways in which nutrition alters the epigenome of many animals – including adult humans.
The world is waking up to the truth about health
The field of epigenetics is where we should be looking to if we want healthy children. Epigenetic controls whether a gene is turned on or off.
Simply put, epigenetics means ‘on top’ or above genetics and we are starting to realize – this is what helps to create a healthy (or sick) person. In fact, our lifestyle habits have a much larger influence on both fetus development and our long-term health outcomes.
Never forget – we are what we eat.
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About the author: Jonathan Landsman is the host of NaturalHealth365.com, the NaturalNews Talk Hour – a free, weekly health show and the NaturalNews Inner Circle – a monthly subscription to the brightest minds in natural health and healing.
Reaching hundreds of thousands of people, worldwide, as a personal health consultant, writer and radio talk show host – Jonathan has been educating the public on the health benefits of an organic (non-GMO) diet along with high-quality supplementation and healthy lifestyle habits including exercise and meditation.
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