Science in Society Archive

Genetic Engineering (General)

Conceptual articles on genetic engineering from the Science in Society Archive on the topic. For articles in other categories, including GM Agriculture, and Biomedical applications, please see the SiS archive menu.

“Monsanto, Out of China!”
On May 25 2013, anti-Monsanto demonstrations took place in 436 cities in 52 countries. With slogans such as “Either mankind will stop Monsanto, or Monsanto will stop mankind,” demonstrators called for the public to be aware of the dangers posed by GMO food
Chen-I-Wen 21st May 2015

Ending GMOs Now
Global rejection sent Monsanto profits plummeting, farmers abandoning GM crops in record numbers, reclassification of glyphosate as probable carcinogen triggering fresh calls for bans and restrictions; GMOs failing old and new, while organic and non-GMO markets continue booming; the days of GMOs are numbered, let’s hasten the demise
Dr Mae-Wan Ho 21st April 2015

Biodiversity or GMOs: Will The Future of Nutrition Be in Women's Hands or Under Corporate Control?
Declaration for International Women's Day, 8 March 2015. Diverse Women for Diversity, Mahila Anna Swaraj, Initiative for Health, Equity and Society, Navdanya, Moms Across the World
Dr Vandana Shiva and Dr Mira Shiva 11th March 2015

Will GM Mosquitoes Increase Disease Spread by other Species?
Cautionary tale for GM and other control strategies as study highlights expansion of another invasive disease carrying mosquito in Panama
Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji 9th February 2015

Support Séralini Team for New GMO and Pesticide Risk Research
Your health is at stake
ISIS 21st November 2014

Genetic Modification Trails Conventional Breeding By Far
Researchers have created conventionally bred varieties tolerant to drought and low nitrogen soils that can reduce poverty in 13 African countries by up to 9 %, far outperforming anything that genetic modification has achieved
Prof Peter Saunders 15th October 2014

RNA Inheritance of Acquired Characters
RNA not only registers epigenetic change as the organism responds to the environment, it also transmits acquired genetic information to subsequent generations independently of DNA, highlighting the potential perils of using RNA interference in GMOs
Dr Mae-Wan Ho 2nd July 2014

Nucleic Acid Invaders from Food Confirmed
New research confirms that DNA fragments derived from meals, large enough to carry complete genes, can escape degradation and enter the human circulatory system, and so can RNA, raising serious concerns over new nucleic acids introduced into the human food chain via genetically modified organisms
Dr Mae-Wan Ho 11th June 2014

Global Status of GMO and Non-GMO Crops
Dr Mae-Wan Ho takes you behind the latest, most blatant scientific disinformation campaign to show how GMO crops have remained a minority sector in food production and shrinking from overwhelming consumer rejection; in contrast, non-GMO sectors are rapidly taking over the global food market, the largest, agro-ecological farming, is also the most sustainable, resilient and climate friendly, and currently produces over half of the world’s food
Dr Mae-Wan Ho 3rd April 2014

New GMO Studies Demonstrate 'Substantial Non-Equivalence'
Studies document substantial differences of GM maize and GM soybean from their conventional non-GM counterparts, exposing a permissive regulatory regime that has failed miserably in protecting public health and biodiversity
Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji 19th February 2014

Mae-Wan Ho Answers 10 (actually 11) Questions on GMOs, Science, and Life
For Paul Haeder of
ISIS 13th January 2014

New Hazards in GMOs from Synonymous Mutations
Change in base sequence that does not alter amino acid sequence of proteins encoded nevertheless may result in alterations of the protein that make it unsafe
Prof Joe Cummins 25th November 2013

Scientific American Disinformation on GMOs
America's most trusted science magazine is spreading disinformation on behalf of a failing and desperate industry, in utter disregard of scientific integrity and the overwhelming evidence of hazards to health and the environment
Dr Mae Wan Ho, Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji and Prof Peter Saunders 14th October 2013

Beware the Changing Face of Genetic Modification
New genetic engineering techniques such as oligonucleotide-directed mutagenesis may bypass already flimsy GM regulations
Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji 2nd September 2013

Genes Not Eligible for Patents
US supreme court’s final ruling on breast cancer gene patents should apply to all other gene patents, especially on deadly viruses such as the recent Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome virus
Prof Peter Saunders 13th August 2013

Why GMOs Can Never be Safe
The new genetics tells us that organisms need to engage in natural genetic modification in order to survive; artificial genetic modification interferes fundamentally with the natural process, and it is well-nigh impossible to avoid doing so
Dr Mae-Wan Ho 22nd July 2013

Ban GMOs Now - Special ISIS Report
Ban GMOs NowHealth & Environmental Hazards Especially in the Light of the New Genetics
GM agriculture is failing on all counts while hazards to health and the environment are coming to light. Opposition to GMOs is gaining momentum worldwide but the expansionist GM corporate agenda continues undiminished. GM agriculture is a recipe for disaster as this report will make clear. It is also standing in the way of the shift to sustainable agriculture already taking place in local communities all over the world that can truly enable people to feed themselves in times of climate change. Take action now to ban environmental releases of GMOs, locally in communities, villages, towns, municipalities, regions, as well as nationally and globally. We the people need to reclaim our food and seed sovereignty from the corporate empire before they destroy our food and farming irreversibly.
Dr Mae-Wan Ho and Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji 24th May 2013

RNA Interference "Complex and Flexible"
A technique hailed as a triumph in ‘precision genetic engineering’ now proven to be nothing like that at all
Dr Mae-Wan Ho 22nd May 2013

GM Crops and Water - A Recipe for Disaster
Genetically modified foods are a threat to our dwindling water supplies; they are less water-efficient and contaminate fresh water
Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji 6th May 2013

Study Confirms GM crops lead to increased Pesticide Use
GM technologies have led to a 7% increase in pesticide use
Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji 8th November 2012

Mass Genome Engineering
Whole microbial genomes can be changed at will simultaneously and rapidly; with large implications for safety
Dr Mae-Wan Ho 22nd October 2012

Aptamers for Biosensing, Diagnosis, Drug Delivery and Therapy
A whole new class of molecules make conventional protein antibodies obsolete but are they safe?
Dr Mae-Wan Ho 17th October 2012

Excess Cancers and Deaths with GM Feed: the Stats Stand Up
That cancers are found even with a small number of rats tested is strong evidence that the GM feed and herbicide are carcinogenic
Prof. Peter Saunders 16th October 2012

Synthetic Biology Should We Be Afraid?
Synthetic Biology is genetic engineering with greater knowledge and precision, but much bigger, faster, and with unnatural molecules thrown in, yes we should be afraid
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 3rd October 2012

Genetic Engineering Spider Silk
Recombinant spider silk can be produced safely and effectively in contained facilities from genetically engineered bacteria and silk worms, provided containment is strictly implemented
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 19th March 2012

How Food Affects Genes
Tiny RNA molecules in food eaten can circulate in the bloodstream and turn genes off in the body; what are the implications of eating genetically modified food?
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 30th November 2011

Escherichia coli O104:H4 A Newly Emergent Pathogen
A deadly new strain that has picked up the Shiga toxin genes with the help of a virus that smuggles genes between bacteria
Prof. Joe Cummins 29th June 2011

How Genetic Engineering May Have Created E. Coli Outbreak
Greatly assisted horizontal gene transfer and recombination turned previously harmless bacteria into dangerous pathogens
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 27th June 2011

Ten years of the Human Genome
Reams of Data and No Progress in Sight. Advances in DNA sequencing and computation technologies have heralded in ‘big biology’ and massive proliferation of data but no progress in understanding life, health or disease; the life science community is caught between the Scylla of reductionism and Charybdis of ‘systems biology’
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 27th July 2010

GM DNA Does Jump Species
Antibiotic Resistance not the Only Risk
Dr. Mae Wan Ho corrects some misconceptions about the risks of horizontal gene transfer from GMOs and calls for an urgent review
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 14th June 2010

After Monsanto's GM Meltdown in the USA…
Syngenta comes to the rescue to keep the transgenic treadmill going
Prof. Joe Cummins 14th April 2010

Europe's Uprising Against GMOs and Patents on Life
The unstoppable groundswell of opposition to GMOs in Europe
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 25th May 2009

DNA Identikit
Barcode for Biodiversity & Fingerprint for Everything Else
Prof. Joe Cummins 16th October 2008

Ban GMOs Now
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho warns that further indulgence in GMOs will severely damage our chances of surviving the food crisis and global warming; organic agriculture and localised food systems are the way forward
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 4th June 2008

Transgenic Lines Unstable hence Illegal and Ineligible for Protection
New evidence may pull the plug on GMOs.
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 17th March 2008

GM Contamination At 21 km and Farther. No Co-Existence Possible
Researchers find GM pollen cross-pollinated non-GM plants at 21 km and predict much worse
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 27th June 2007

Plant Steroids in Transgenic Plants Safe for Humans?
There are too many similarities between plant and animal steroids for them to be presumed safe
Prof. Joe Cummins 30th March 2006

GM Contamination Accelerating No Co-Existence Possible
Untried and untested GM crops are out of the bottle even in the UK where no GM crops are commercially grown
Rhea Gala 16th December 2005

Outsourcing Ecological and Health Risks & Reducing Scientists to Bio-coolies for Industry
Dr. Vandana Shiva condemns India's New Biotechnology Development Strategy
Dr. Vandana Shiva 23rd September 2005

No to Releases of Transgenic Plants with Antimicrobial Peptides
Anti-microbial peptides provide the first line of defence against invading microbes in both plants and animals
Prof. Joe Cummins and Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 19th September 2005

Hybrid Seed
Hybrid seed was the first step whereby agribusiness corporations wrested control of seed away from farmers
Prof. Joe Cummins and Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 2nd September 2005

Biotech Wonder Tool in Disarray
DNA sequence information can't predict the rich tapestry of life, and researchers are turning to analysing downstream processes using the biotech microarray wonder tool, only to end in disarray
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 23rd March 2005

No Biotech Revolution in Sight
Governments are sinking further billions into genomics and related research but a new study finds no sign of revolution in healthcare
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 21st March 2005

How to Keep in Concert
One of the biggest puzzles of the fluid genome is why multiple copies of a gene scattered throughout the genome can be kept so nearly identical, which may be good for the organism. But the mechanism responsible has its downside in converting healthy genes to defective ones when cells are stressed.
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 20th September 2004

Are Ultra-conserved Elements Indispensable?
Geneticists identified elements in the genome that are 'ultra-conserved', and thought they must be indispensable for survival. Not so.
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 16th September 2004

To Mutate or Not to Mutate
Contrary to views widely held not so long ago, genes do not as a rule mutate at random, and cells may choose what, or at least, when to mutate.
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 15th September 2004

Subverting the Genetic Text
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho exposes the hidden intrigues in the vast RNA underworld where layers of interference and machinations subvert the chain of command from DNA to RNA to protein.
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 9th September 2004

Caring Mothers Reduce Response to Stress for Life
How a rat responds to stress depends on whether its mother cared for it properly as a pup, which marks its genes for life
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 7th September 2004

Death of the Central Dogma
It is amazing how much scientific and religious fundamentalism have in common. The late Francis Crick won the Nobel Prize jointly with James Watson and Maurice Wilkins for working out the structure of DNA; and rather like the new 'Potentate' of biology, issued the "Central Dogma" to the faithful, which decreed that genetic information flows linearly from DNA to RNA to protein, and never in reverse. That was just another way of saying that organisms are hardwired in their genetic makeup, and that the environment has little if any influence on the structure and function of the genes.
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 3rd September 2004

Broken Promises
Will GM crops really help developing countries?Lim Li Ching looks at some telling examples in Kenya, Indonesia and India.
Lim Li Ching 12th May 2004

Transgenic Fish Coming
Prof. Joe Cummins exposes the regulatory vacuum behind the rush for commercial release of transgenic fish
Prof. Joe Cummins 14th December 2003

Transgenic Trees Spread Mercury Poisoning
Is moving mercury from place to place really remediation?
Joe Cummins 18th September 2003

GM Crops Irrelevant for Africa
Damning report concludes GM crops do not address the real causes of poverty and hunger in Africa
Jonathan Matthews 18th September 2003

New Terminator Crops Coming
Gaining control over seed production using 'terminator' genetic modification has become a goal of genetic engineers. Prof. Joe Cummins and Dr. Mae-Wan Ho alert us to some new tricks in the pipelines, and the lies perpetrated to mislead the public
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Prof. Joe Cummins 12th July 2003

SARS Virus Genetically Engineered?
The mystery surrounding the SARS virus deepens. Dr. Mae-Wan Ho raises further questions on whether genetic engineering could have contributed to creating it
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 26th June 2003

Molecular Genetic Engineers in Junk DNA?
Much of the fluidity of the genome is due to mobile genetic elements that respond to physiological and environmental signals to recraft genes and genomes, creating new patterns of gene expression, new proteins and new evolutionary opportunities. But this fluidity also leaves the genome vulnerable to many environmental insults
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 25th June 2003

Ho Replies To Morton
Roger Morton's submission to the GM Science Review in response to the first submission from ISIS, "ISIS' response to ACRE's response to Chardon LL" contains some misrepresentations that I should like to put right
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 23rd April 2003

Chronicle of An Ecological Disaster Foretold
The GM oil seed rape varieties in UK's farm scale evaluations are terminator crops with in-built sterility to protect patented crop genes. Terminator crops like these had been vigorously rejected by farmers all over the world as it goes against their right to save and replant seeds. These crops are now being considered for commercial release in Europe.
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Prof. Joe Cummins 20th February 2003

GM-free Food Aid!
GM food, rejected across the world because it is unsafe, continues to be dumped as ‘food aid’ (includes 'Famine as Commerce' by Devinda Sharma).
ISIS 7th August 2002

Floating Transgenic Fish in a Leaky Triploid Craft
Transgenic fish have been launched with optimistic hopes that the fish will grow rapidly, use food efficiently and pose little threat to the native stocks. Prof. Joe Cummins reveals why those hopes don’t hold water
Prof. Joe Cummins 30th July 2002

GM DNA in Human Gut Underestimated
UK’s Food Standards Agency dismissed its new research findings that GM DNA in food has transferred to bacteria in the human gut. Dr. Mae-Wan Ho reveals how the experiment was designed to bias against positive findings, so the actual transfer of GM DNA could be much more extensive.
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 21st July 2002

Patents on life patently undermine food security
Thousands gathered in London to demand trade justice for the developing world in a mass lobby of Parliament. They want trade rules that work for all, not just a few
Lim Li Ching 15th July 2002

Why Clone Humans?
Why is human cloning contemplated at all? To help infertile couples have children? To provide cells and tissues for transplant? Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Prof. Joe Cummins reveal how the scientific establishment is manipulating public opinion to support research that’s both morally and scientifically indefensible.
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Prof. Joe Cummins 10th July 2002

Genetically Modified Humans: For What and for Whom?
‘Gene therapy’ has been aggressively pursued for more than twelve years with little success. The death of a healthy teenager in a clinical trial in 1999 alerted the public to the hazards involved.
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Prof. Joe Cummins 6th July 2002

Genetically Modified Organisms 25 Years On
The GMO jubilee has come and gone. The predicted financial boom has not materialised, nor the promised benefits to agriculture and health. Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Prof. Joe Cummins identify some of the fundamental reasons for the failures of the GMO enterprise.
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Prof. Joe Cummins 4th July 2002

Comprehensive Evidence Against GM
ISIS Reply to WHO Questionnaire on Food Biotechnology
ISIS 3rd July 2002

Blair’s Biotech Vision Clouded
Blair’s vision of biotechnology and science is outmoded and out of touch with market reality. Dr. Mae-Wan Ho asks why Blair and other governments are throwing even more public money away at a sinking titanic of enterprises, while vital health and agricultural services are disintegrating for want of rational investments.
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 23rd June 2002

Biotech Fever Burning, Burning Out?
Biotechnology is a risky business, according to a new study in the United States, the nation that leads the world in biotechnology. Nor is there likely to be a biotech boom resembling that of information technology.
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 22nd June 2002

Pitfalls of Transgene Containment in Chloroplast
As transgenic contamination is becoming a big issue, biotech companies are proposing to put transgenes in the chloroplast genome instead of the nuclear genome in order to prevent them from spreading. Prof. Joe Cummins reveals the pitfalls.
Prof. Joe Cummins 19th June 2002

FAQ on Genetic Engineering
Frequently Asked Questions on Genetic Engineering
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 2nd April 2002

More on Terminator and Related Patents
Terminator technology is a collection of genetic engineering tricks to make seeds sterile, so farmers cannot save and replant the seeds
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Prof. Joe Cummins 12th July 2001

The Human Genome - A Big White Elephant
Massive divestment of public research funding into health genomics is aimed at bailing out an industry already in trouble over GM crops.
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 8th June 2001

Where Genes Fail - Dietary Interventions for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s?
Senior NIH scientist Richard Veech is developing a promising approach that will involve dietary intervention
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 25th April 2001

Human Genome -The Biggest Sellout in Human History
A multibillion bioinformatics ‘goldrush’ is on, as private companies scramble to mine the public database for genes to patent
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 18th October 2000

Biotech Breakdown
Good Popular Article on Biotechnology
Susan D. Borowitz 1st June 2000

The Biotechnology Bubble
One sign of big trouble in the biotech industry is when EuropaBio, a non-Government organization representing the interests of the industry, launched its multi-million pound campaign to win over European consumers last summer by engaging the services of Burson Marsteller
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho, Hartmut Meyer, Prof. Joe Cummins

The End of Bad Science and Beginning Again with Life
The debate on evolution between the creationists and the neo-Darwinists is not just sterile, it misses the central issue, which is that neo-Darwinism is wrong and dangerous.
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho

The Human Genome Map, the Death of Genetic Determinism and Beyond
The complete human genome map was announced just before Valentine’s day. But it was an anticlimax for the proponents
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho