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dsRNA risks – From GMOs

April 28, 2013

There is evidence that the gene silencing may be inherited by the offspring of some organisms that eat the dsRNA.

Furthermore, there is massive, ongoing investment occurring to develop products that directly transfer dsRNA into the living cells of plants, animals and microbes via their food or by being absorbed through their “skin”. This allows dsRNA molecules to be sprayed onto fields of crops to kill insects or to be delivered to beehives as oral medicine for bees.

Last year, a high profile scientific paper was published that showed that dsRNA molecules produced in non-GM plants can be taken into the bodies of people who eat the plant. The dsRNA from the plant was found circulating in blood, indicating that it survives cooking and digestion. Research has also shown that:

*at least one dsRNA produced in plants (called mir168a) can change the expression of genes in mice; and

*dsRNA (mir168a) can change the expression of a gene in human cells growing in tissue culture. Therefore, there is a real risk that the dsRNA produced by these new GM crops could survive digestion in people and change how those people’s genes are expressed. These effects of dsRNA were predicted long ago by some scientists. The proof has now arrived.

via New paper on dsRNA risks – briefing for non-specialists.

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