Gene VI could be harmful for both for humans and for surrounding crops, according to a new study in the Landes Bioscience journal. The European Food Safety Authority reports that the common gene sequence often used in genetically modified organisms (GMO) is also part of the code for a viral gene.
GMO crops have been used in the United States for about two decades. Gene VI is a “viral gene” that allegedly suppresses the body’s immune system. The gene reportedly attacks the RNA mechanisms and causes a “silencing” impact. The alleged Gene VI silencing reportedly makes it more difficult for the body to react to viruses and bacteria.
The gene is typically used to activate the production of protein in plant cells. Opponents to the GMO largely believe that the activation process might pave the way for the production of toxins or allergens in plants that have otherwise been deemed non-toxic. Gene VI plants commonly have “deformed growth” and a yellow coloring. Such plants are also routinely infertile.
There are a total of 86 different sets of DNA which are typically used in GMO foods. A total of 54 sets of such DNA reportedly carry Gene VI. Organic food activists are calling for additional research into Gene VI to determine if the GMO DNA sequence could be toxic to humans. While the gene set is reportedly known to be toxic to other plants and crops, the impact on the human body is currently undetermined.
Some scientists believe that Gene VI has been in existence for longer the GMO crops. Food safety regulators have allegedly failed to note the presence of the gene sequence in GMO foods. Since the gene set is not a new discovery, many GMO opponents feel that more research should have been done to protect the health of Americans and the integrity of the food supply.
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