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 Monsanto enters pharmaceutical business, acquires key 'gene silencing' technology for use in humans

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PostSubject: Monsanto enters pharmaceutical business, acquires key 'gene silencing' technology for use in humans    Mon 08 Oct 2012, 18:45

Monsanto enters pharmaceutical business, acquires key 'gene silencing' technology for use in humans


(NaturalNews) The Monsanto company has forged a new partnership with
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company whose primary
focus seems to be on figuring out how to best crack the genetic code so
as to manipulate the way genes inherently express themselves. And based
on the agreement the two companies have made publicly with one another,
it appears as though Monsanto is planning to utilize Alnylam's
proprietary gene-silencing technologies in its emerging agricultural
pursuits, which will likely spawn a whole new category of problems for
humanity and the planet at large.

In a recent press release,
Monsanto disclosed that it has officially obtained "worldwide, exclusive
rights" to use Alnylam's platform technology and intellectual property
(IP) in its own agricultural products, and particularly in its new
"BioDirect" line of products designed to treat seeds and crops with what
the company has dubbed "biopesticides" (http://www.monsanto.com/products/Pages/biodirect-ag-biologicals.aspx).
Monsanto apparently sees something exceptionally valuable in Alnylam's
technologies that it does not currently possess, and is now seeking to
leverage it for the purpose of expanding its own market share. But what
is it?

Monsanto wants to turn food crops into gene-altering 'drugs'

In
a nutshell, Alnylam specializes in a technology known as RNA
interference (RNAi) that involves deliberately silencing the expression
of genes throughout the body for the purpose of preventing the
production of proteins that some scientists believe are responsible for
causing disease. By artificially blocking production of these proteins,
RNAi technology
is believed to have the potential to effectively block the development
of disease, which is why many major drug companies have also signed on
as strategic partners with Alnylam.

But Monsanto
is an agricultural company, not a pharmaceutical company, which begs
the obvious question as to why this multinational company has suddenly
decided to shell out nearly $30 million with promises of perpetual
royalty payments to gain access to this emerging technology. As it turns
out, Monsanto has plans to roll out all sorts of new
genetically-modified (GM) crops, crop pesticides and herbicides, and
various other technologies with built-in RNAi modifications, which could
turn future GM food crops into "drugs."

Many
modern varieties of wheat, for instance, are problematic for people
with gluten sensitivity or Celiac disease because they produce
unnaturally high levels of a wheat protein known as gluten. By
integrating genetic changes using RNAi; however, companies like Monsanto
could theoretically produce a GM wheat variety that does not contain
any gluten at all, which they could then market as the solution to
gluten insensitivity.

Modifying food crops with RNAi is unsafe, unpredictable

But
such experimental gene-tampering is already taking place elsewhere, and
it is proving to be a complete failure. In Australia, for instance,
field trials of a novel variety of GM wheat with RNAi alterations have
been disastrous, as the modified gene expressions in the wheat are also
modifying human genes in the liver. Researchers are now warning that
human children who eat this GM wheat could actually die before reaching
the age of five. (http://www.naturalnews.com)

A paper compiled by Greenpeace
about the same strains of RNAi-modified wheat explain that RNAi
modifications in general "are prone to unexpected and unpredictable
effects that have not been considered in the risk assessments done by
the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator." The paper goes on to
explain that releasing RNAi-modified crops "poses severe, and
potentially irreversible, risks to the environment and human and animal
health."

You can read the full Greenpeace paper here: http://www.greenpeace.org

Many foods contain natural gene regulators, and modifying them could change the entire human genome

Researchers from Nanjing University
in China recently conducted an unrelated study that found gene-altering
properties in regular, non-GMO rice. It turns out that certain
plant-based foods, or perhaps all of them, contain unique properties
that naturally turn genes on or off throughout the body when ingested,
depending on these foods' various nutritive functions. (http://www.theatlantic.com)

Synthetically
altering these functions in the form of RNAi-modified GM crops, in
other words, could result in disastrous consequences as the entire human
genome is thrown off balance. As Ari Levaux from The Atlantic
puts it, the discovery of food's natural gene-altering capacities
illustrates how GM foods, and particularly those that have been
RNAi-modified, "could influence human health in previously unanticipated
ways."

In other words, Monsanto's latest endeavors involve
tampering with plants at their most elemental level, which will in turn
tamper with humans at their most elemental level as well. Sure, Monsanto
has been inserting, removing, and splicing the genes of plants for
decades; but RNAi modifications involve essentially reprogramming the
way plants express their genes, which is uncharted territory as far as
the consequences to the environment and humanity are concerned.

Source:-
http://www.naturalnews.com/037409_Monsanto_gene_silencing_pharmaceuticals.html
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