As Monsanto and Bayer continue to work out the enormous, laundry list of details as to how they will merge and become one single, united company, new developments happening behind closed doors in laboratories are casting even further doubt on their business model of genetically altered foods and chemicals.
Prior to Bayer’s takeover of the infamous St. Louis-based company, Monsanto signed a shocking new $125 million deal to produce new “longer-lasting” GMOs, which may even include strawberries and wheat.
The technique utilizes CRISPR, a highly profitable tool for genetic modification that researchers “believe” is safe. But according to two new studies, it may actually be doing far more harm than anybody ever realized.
Two New Studies Link Latest Type of GMO to Cancer
According to this report from CNBC, stocks of companies developing CRISPR gene editing based therapies tanked on Monday, June 11 after new research in the journal Nature Medicine showed that edited cells could cause cancer.
In the two studies, researchers found that editing cells’ genomes using the technique might increase the risk of the disease.
The two independent studies from Novartis and Sweden’s Karolinska Institute both showed that there may be a higher risk for cancer among cells that are edited using the CRISPR technique (learn more in this article).
In response, shares of CRISPR Therapeutics dropped nearly 13 percent, Editas Medicine dropped nearly 8 percent, Intellia Therapeutics fell almost 10 percent and Sangamo Therapeutics dropped more than 5 percent, the CNBC report said.
Both CRISPR Therapeutics and Intellia Therapeutics said they don’t believe as though these studies apply to the techniques they use.
What Does This Mean for the Common Person?
If you haven’t been paying attention lately, we are far from out of the woods when it comes to GMOs in our food supply, and the genetic engineering experiment is even extending into the world of medical care.
In terms of the CRISPR process mentioned above, it is said to be potentially useful for helping to fix and/or cure many diseases that modern medicine has not been able to touch.
But as we see from these two studies and even were warned about by the previous one involving potential unintended gene mutations, it’s far from a sure thing.
Already this process has been used in creating novel GMO foods including CRISPR “non-browning” apples, GMO mushrooms that were approved without any safety testing, and GMO potatoes that were approved despite warnings of billions of dollars in losses to the U.S. potato market.
It all paints a picture of profit-driven scientists who may have had good intentions in the beginning, but are clearly now rushing these technologies to market by following visions of dollar signs in their eyes instead of what is actually best and most prudent for the world at-large.
Of course, we still don’t know how this technique affects human in terms of how it is used to create novel GMO foods. But do you want to take the risk, when organic and non-GMO alternatives are already available?
I know I don’t.
If you want to avoid GMO foods made using this technique, buy organic and non-GMO whenever possible, and do your best to keep up with the headlines because these foods (and soon, medical techniques utilizing the CRISPR gene editing process) are being unleashed on the unsuspecting public without labeling as usual (albeit in small quantities so far).
For more information on the CRISPR cancer studies, check out the full article by clicking on this link.
Photo via Drug Target Review.