Mike Klymkowsky’s letter comparing human immunizations to GMO programs is bogus. The vaccination against smallpox involved the use of a natural virus, the vaccinia virus, that is genetically similar enough to the smallpox virus that it offers offers immunity to smallpox. It was the original vaccine and gave rise to the notion that altering toxins or micro-organisms so that the changed result contained only the genetic code that would stimulate adequate antigens without the part that created the disease would allow immunity without causing illness. Using this thinking, tetanus and diphtheria toxoids were developed from the chemical toxins that made the diseases so fatal. Scientists found a way to keep the antigenic properties of these toxins without the adjunctive toxic properties. Their motivation was to improve the human condition, not to make money. They added nothing to the toxins and only subtracted the portion that caused disease. It was subsequently found that running viruses such as measles, mumps and later polio through past evolutionary species such as apes and then more primitive mammals, then down to birds the virus would go through natural alterations and become enough more species specific to these more primitive organisms that when injected into humans they would produce immunity without producing disease. This process is not in any real way related to what big agriculture is doing with their GMO program.
Big Agra is adding genetic material to seeds that have been evolved by human selection over thousands of years. For instance, while the men in earlier hunter-gatherer societies were hunting, the women were first gathering and then further along, planting seeds. Over time, by selecting the seeds from plants that had characteristics they wanted the women succeeded in turning a tiny grass seed into what became corn. This is true of rice, wheat, all of our modern grains, fruits and vegetables. But it was done in a natural way and those plants carry long experience with adaptations and natural selections that have made them foods compatible with human well being. Big Agra is adding genetic material that wipes out competing plants, makes money and has no history of hman experience that our past evolutionary method has had. We are into virgin territory and we need long experience before we know what is safe and workable. Big Agra wants to control the seeds, the food supply and make money. That’s what it’s about. It could in the long haul be beneficial but we must not let the corporations take our food out of our control.
Ward R. Anthony