Why GMO and Organic Can Not Co-Exist: Lateral Gene Transfer

23rd January 2012

By Sayer JiWake Up World

One of the most disturbing, though commonly overlooked properties of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is their documented ability to transfer genetic information horizontally into those who consume them.

This process actually occurs quite commonly in nature, especially among bacteria, which do not reproduce sexually and therefore have evolved a number of mechanisms through which to transfer genetic information directly between one another directly. Viruses themselves can essentially be described as ‘pieces of genetic information in search of chromosomes,’ their very “infectivity” being examples of horizontal gene transfer between species. The whole field of genetic engineering, in fact, would not exist were it not for the science and technology that harnesses and/or co-opts processes of horizontal gene transfer.

Technically speaking, horizontal gene transfer (also known as “lateral gene transfer“) is the process by which an organism incorporates genetic material from another organism without being the offspring of that organism. Vertical transfer, on the other hand, occurs when an organism receives genetic material from its ancestor, e.g., its parent or a species from which it has evolved.

Animal research published in 2003 in the journal of Environmental Biosafety Research showed that genetically modified lactic acid bacteria are capable of transferring recombinant genes sequences directly (horizontally) into Enteroccous faecalis, another naturally occurring species of digestive tract bacteria found in humans, as well.

Other animal research on orally ingested foreign DNA not only shows it is capable of transferring to, and/or altering genetic information within, the animal consuming it, but is also capable of affecting the genetics of the fetuses and newborn of pregnant mice who were fed it.

The existence of a free flow of genetic information from food to organism, and then transplacentally, to the organism’s future progeny, through horizontal gene transfer, illustrates just how true the age old phrase “you are what you eat” is — for better and for worse.

Perhaps more importantly is the revelation that there can be no “peaceful co-existence” between genetically modified foods and authentically natural ones, as the former by definition implies the irreversible transformation of the latter into itself. To state, as Whole Foods recently did, that co-existence is possible between GM and non-GM foods, is like saying pregnancy and virginity can co-exist, under natural circumstances.

I believe it is time to openly identify GM food for what it is. Because genetically modified foods can vectorize the dissemination of recombinant DNA sequences throughout the entire biosphere, as well as anyone who would consume them, they embody a virus-like quality of pathogenicity and could, without exaggeration, be identified as bioweapons of potential mass destruction.

About the Author Sayer Ji is the founder of GreenMedInfo.com, the world’s largest, evidence-based, open-source, natural medicine database. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter


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  • Uncle B

    World population problem solved: by the biggest eaters, at the top, the very top of the food chain! Are: Autism, body size beyond sustainability, huge, voracious appetites, huge energy requirements for sustainability, desperate need for air conditioning, heating, transportation by machines,for survival, astounding sex appetite, rampant disregard for lesser beings, need to achieve, even meaningless Moon walks over proper agricultural husbandry of land, for sake of boasting rites, over-dependency on one or two energy sources only, oil and Uranium fissioning, gullibility, believing the FDA has Christ-like embodied honesty, poorer education, but much war like activities, Soon they will poison themselves with bad food based on corrupt science, they will face the facts on energy, as oil scarcity shows, they will realise that 80% of their population live within forty miles of a Uranium fissioning reactor and that the reactors in the U.S.A. have accumulated up to four times their design capacities of humanocidal waste products – no solution in sight, no actions taking place, accumulations mounting daily. Will this strange aberration of man, only three hundred years in the making, implode, destroy itself, and take as many lives as it can with it to the grave?
    Outside the sphere of influence of the Great Corporate American Propaganda Whore, lies a sane world, of truth. Witnessing this machine of destruction as it wears down now. We hope to survive its rapid demise, unpoisoned, unburned by its radiation, and free from its oil obsession. Pray God they do not destroy all seed on earth with their poorly managed Barracuda Capitalism driven GMO sciences. Amen.