GMOs News Stories
Below are key excerpts of revealing news articles on the dangers of GMO foods and technology from reliable news media sources. If any link fails to function, a paywall blocks full access, or the article is no longer available, try these digital tools.
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In approving genetically engineered salmon as safe to eat and safe for the environment, the Food and Drug Administration rejected petitions from environmental and food safety groups asking that companies selling this salmon be required to label it as genetically engineered. Congress should overturn that decision. The salmon, made by AquaBounty Technologies of Maynard, Mass., has genes inserted that allow it to grow to market size twice as fast as wild salmon. At least one consumer group has announced plans to sue the F.D.A. to overturn its approval of the engineered salmon. Some leading grocery chains, responding to consumer concerns, have said they wont sell the genetically engineered salmon. The F.D.A. said there is no reason to mandate labeling because there is no material difference between engineered and natural fish. But the value of that information should be left to consumers to decide. Vermont enacted a law last year that will require labeling of genetically engineered foods starting next July unless a suit filed in June 2014 by four industry trade groups derails it. Other states with strong consumer movements may try to follow. The House passed a bill on July 23, 2015, that would pre-empt states from requiring such labeling, and industry groups are pressing the Senate to attach similar language as a rider to an omnibus spending bill. The Senate should rebuff that tactic and allow states to adopt mandatory labeling laws if they wish.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.
Heavy use of the worlds most popular herbicide, Roundup, may be linked to a range of health problems and diseases, including Parkinsons, infertility and cancers, according to a new study. The report, published this month in the online journal Entropy, said evidence indicates that residues of glyphosate, the chief ingredient in Roundup and other weedkillers, has been found in food. Those residues enhance the damaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and toxins in the environment to disrupt normal body functions and induce disease. Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body, the study says. Environmentalists, consumer groups and plant scientists from several countries have warned that heavy use of glyphosate is causing problems for plants, people and animals. Monsanto is the developer of both Roundup herbicide and of crops that are genetically altered to withstand being sprayed with the weedkiller. These biotech crops, including corn, soybeans, canola and sugarbeets, are planted on millions of acres in the United States annually. Farmers like them because they can spray Roundup directly on the crops to kill weeds in the fields without harming the crops. Roundup is also used on lawns, gardens and golf courses.
Note: Watch a video of this MIT researcher talking about this vitally important topic. Read how the EPA used industry studies while ignoring independent studies to declare Roundup safe. Monsanto is trying to stop the state of California from listing Glyphosate as carcinogenic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.
The worlds biggest animal cloning factory is due to open in China, producing one million calves a year, sniffer dogs and even genetic copies of the family pet. The center may cause alarm in Europe, where the cloning of animals for farming was banned in September due to animal welfare considerations. But Xu Xiaochun, chairman of Chinese biotechnology company BoyaLife that is backing the facility, dismissed such concerns. Interest in agricultural biotechnology has been rapidly increasing in China, where [beef prices] are said to have tripled from 2000 to 2013. Mr Xu said his new facility will clone racehorses and a handful of dogs for people with emotional ties to their pets, but its main focus was producing cattle. However, he appeared to be more excited about its ability to churn out sniffer dogs. The dog has to be smart and obedient, strong, sensitive," he said. The factory, which will include a 15,000 square metre laboratory, an animal centre, a gene bank and an exhibition hall ... is due to open in the first half of next year. BoyaLife will operate the facility with its South Korean partner, Sooam Biotech, that runs a centre that can clone dogs for customers willing to pay $100,000 (66,000), and has already produced more than 550 puppies. The new facility will initially produce 100,000 cattle embryos a year, eventually increasing to one million.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.
A powerful new technique for generating supercharged genetically modified organisms that can spread rapidly in the wild has caused alarm among scientists. The development of so-called gene drive technology promises to revolutionize medicine and agriculture. However, scientists at the forefront of the development believe ... gene-drive technology poses a serious threat to the environment and human health if accidentally or deliberately released from a laboratory without adequate safeguards. Last week the US National Academy of Sciences initiated a wide-ranging review of gene-drive technology in non-human organisms and in this weeks journal Science a group of 27 leading geneticists call on the scientific community to be open and transparent about both the risks and benefits of gene drives. Researchers have likened gene-drive technology to a nuclear chain reaction because it allows GM genes to be amplified within a breeding population of insects or other animals without any further intervention once the trait has been initially introduced. This is the case even if the trait is non-beneficial to the organism. Laboratory experiments on fruit flies have shown that a modified gene introduced into one individual fly can take just a few generations to infect practically every other fly in the breeding population, in defiance of the normal rules of genetics which dictate a far slower spread.
Note: A large segment of the scientific community called for a moratorium on using this technology on humans. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.
The Environmental Protection Agency concluded in June that there was no convincing evidence that glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide in the U.S. and the world, is an endocrine disruptor. The decision was based almost entirely on pesticide industry studies. Most of the studies were sponsored by Monsanto or an industry group called the Joint Glyphosate Task Force. Of the small minority of independently funded studies that the agency considered in determining whether the chemical poses a danger to the endocrine system, three of five found that it did. One, for instance, found that exposure to glyphosate-Roundup may induce significant adverse effects on the reproductive system of male Wistar rats. Another concluded that low and environmentally relevant concentrations of glyphosate possessed estrogenic activity. And a review of the literature turns up many more peer-reviewed studies finding glyphosate can interfere with hormones. Many of the industry-funded studies contained data that suggested that exposure to glyphosate had serious effects. Yet in each case, sometimes even after animals died, the scientists found reasons to discount the findings or to simply dismiss them. Having companies fund and perform studies that affect them financially [is] the standard practice at EPA. The International Agency for Research on Cancer labeled glyphosate a probable carcinogen in March.
Note: Read an excellent mercola.com article titled "GMO cookie is crumbling." Monsanto is trying to stop the state of California from listing Glyphosate as carcinogenic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.
Consumer advocates, environmental groups, fishermen and retailers reacted strongly to the federal governments announcement Thursday approving genetically modified salmon for consumer use. The landmark approval - the first genetically engineered food animal endorsed for sale in the United States - has sparked a passionate response ... especially because it will not require special labelling. Around 2 million people previously filed public comments against the FDAs approval of what opponents call Frankenfish, and the Center for Food Safety announced Thursday that it would sue the FDA in response. This sets the bar incredibly low for engineered animals, said Michael Hansen, senior scientist at Consumers Union. There were serious problems with the safety assessment. At least 60 retailers - including chains like Safeway, Target, Whole Foods and Trader Joes, as well as local independent grocers like Bi-Rite and Rainbow Community Market - have made a pledge with Friends of the Earth not to sell the salmon when it goes to market. Chief among concerns about the GMO salmon is its potential for causing allergies and its ability to contaminate wild populations. Testing for potential allergens was only done on a very small sample size. The tested fish actually did show a higher allergenicity. Critics are also concerned about the fishs ability to escape and cause environmental harm.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.
Two kinds of genetically modified pigs are on their way to becoming ... dinner. But consumers are wary and lack confidence in governments' readiness to regulate this new class of food product. The African swine fever resistant pig has an immune gene that is slightly more like a warthog's. The double-muscle pig has a mutation similar to one produced by normal breeding in a muscly cow breed called the Belgian blue. Lucy Sharratt, co-ordinator for the Canadian Biotechnology Network, said a major reason why consumers are wary is because of the way genetically modified foods are regulated in Canada. Health Canada doesn't do its own testing of the foods, relying instead on data generated by the companies trying to put the foods on the market, which is kept secret. It doesn't disclose what it's assessing. Nor does it consult with farmers or consumers, or require labelling of genetically modified foods after the fact. In the U.S., safety information about genetically modified foods is also kept secret.
Law firms around the United States are lining up plaintiffs for what they say could be "mass tort" actions against agrichemical giant Monsanto Co that claim the company's Roundup herbicide has caused cancer in farm workers and others exposed to the chemical. The latest lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Delaware. The lawsuit is similar to others filed last month in New York and California accusing Monsanto of long knowing that the main ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, was hazardous. Monsanto "led a prolonged campaign of misinformation to convince government agencies, farmers and the general population that Roundup was safe," the lawsuit states. The litigation follows the World Health Organization's declaration in March that there was sufficient evidence to classify glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic to humans." "We can prove that Monsanto knew about the dangers of glyphosate," said Michael McDivitt, whose Colorado-based law firm is putting together cases for 50 individuals. Roundup ... brought Monsanto $4.8 billion in revenue in its fiscal 2015. But questions about Roundup's safety have dogged the company for years. Attorneys who have filed or are eying litigation cited strong evidence that links glyphosate to non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Monsanto is also fending off claims over its past manufacturing of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which the WHO classifies as known carcinogens. At least 700 lawsuits against Monsanto or Monsanto-related entities are pending.
Note: It's interesting to note that a Google search shows almost no major media picked up this key news. Read how the EPA used industry studies while ignoring independent studies to declare Roundup safe. Read also an excellent mercola.com article titled "GMO cookie is crumbling." Monsanto is trying to stop the state of California from listing Glyphosate as carcinogenic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.
WikiLeaked cables released over the weekend revealed more about the US' role as a global bully. In a 2007 cable from Craig Stapleton, then US Ambassador to France, he encouraged the US government to "reinforce our negotiating position with the EU on agricultural biotechnology by publishing a retaliation list." A list, he added, that "causes some pain across the EU since this is a collective responsibility." The stated reason for their attack was that "Europe is moving backwards not forwards" on GMOs, with "France playing a leading role, along with Austria, Italy and even the [EU] Commission." The Ambassador was concerned that France and others would put a ban on the cultivation of Monsanto's GM corn seeds. According to the cable, the Ambassador ... was also upset about France's draft biotech law that "would make farmers and seed companies legally liable for pollen drift." This concept that the "polluter pays" is a foundational principle of US law - except for GMOs. Offering consumers a choice on GMOs is not on the US government agenda. Stapleton's tone in the letter was insistent. "We should not be prepared to cede on cultivation because of our considerable planting seed business in Europe." He said, "Moving to retaliation will make clear that the current path has real costs to EU interests and could help strengthen European pro-biotech voices."
Note: For lots more showing US commitment to spread frankenfoods, see this article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.
Monsanto Co.s undisclosed recruitment of scientists from Harvard University, Cornell University and three other schools to write about the benefits of plant biotechnology is drawing fire from opponents. Monsanto says its in regular contact with public-sector scientists as it tries to elevate public dialog on genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. U.S. Right to Know, a nonprofit group funded by the Organic Consumers Association that obtained e-mails under the Freedom of Information Act, says correspondence revealing Monsantos actions shows the corporate control of science and how compliant some academics are. The articles have become the latest flashpoint in an information war being waged over plant biotechnology. The articles in question appeared on the Genetic Literacy Projects website in a series called GMO - Beyond the Science. Eric Sachs, who leads Monsantos scientific outreach, wrote to eight scientists to pen a series of briefs aimed at influencing public policy, GM crop regulation and consumer acceptance. Five of them obliged. University of Florida Professor Kevin Folta said he agreed to write Anti-GMO Activism and Its Impact on Food Security because communicating science to the public is his job. Folta has faced public criticism since the New York Times ... reported last month about his communications with Monsanto and a $25,000 donation to the science communication program he runs.
Sixteen countries have alerted the European Union that they want to opt out of E.U.-approved GM crops. Members of the economic bloc have until Oct. 3 to let the E.U. know if they were requesting to opt out of growing GMO produce from major companies like Monsanto, Dow, Syngenta and Pioneer, and according to the Food Navigator, a food trade publication, countries including Germany, Italy, Denmark, Bulgaria and Cyprus recently filed their requests and applications, increasing the number to 16. In August, Scotland publicly said it would prohibit GMO crops out of concern that they could damage the countrys clean and green brand. Scotland is known around the world for our beautiful natural environment and banning growing genetically modified crops will protect and further enhance our clean, green status, Rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead said in a statement at the time. A growing number of governments are rejecting the commissions drive for GM crop approvals, Greenpeaces E.U. food policy director Franziska Achterberg told the Guardian. They dont trust the E.U. safety assessments and are rightly taking action to protect their agriculture and food. The only way to restore trust in the E.U. system now is for the commission to hit the pause button on GM crop approvals and to urgently reform safety testing and the approval system.
Note: Read also an article on how the American Academy of Pediatrics has cut ties with Monsanto. To understand the serious risks and dangers of GMOs, see this excellent summary of the acclaimed book "Seeds of Deception."
Corporations have poured money into universities to fund research for decades, but now, the debate over bioengineered foods has escalated into a billion-dollar food industry war. Companies like Monsanto are squaring off against major organic firms like Stonyfield Farm. Both sides have aggressively recruited academic researchers. The biotech industry has published dozens of articles, under the names of prominent academics, that in some cases were drafted by industry consultants. Monsanto and its industry partners have also passed out an undisclosed amount in special grants to scientists ... to help with biotechnology outreach and to travel around the country to defend genetically modified foods. The moves by Monsanto, in an alliance with the Biotechnology Industry Organization and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, are detailed in thousands of pages of emails that were at first requested by the nonprofit group U.S. Right to Know, which receives funding from the organic foods industry. The emails show how academics have shifted from researchers to actors in lobbying and corporate public relations campaigns. An inner circle of [biotech] industry consultants, lobbyists and executives ... devised strategy on how to block state efforts to mandate G.M.O. labeling. The opponents of genetically modified foods have used their own creative tactics, although their spending on lobbying and public relations amounts to a tiny fraction of that of biosciences companies.
Note: Read an article which takes it even deeper and shows what the NYT left out. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the corruption of science and the controversy surrounding GMOs.
U.S. regulators for the first time are proposing limits on the planting of some genetically engineered corn to combat ... a bug that ranks among the most expensive crop threats to U.S. corn farmers. The plan is aimed at widely grown corn varieties sold by Monsanto, the first to sell rootworm-resistant corn, and rival seed makers including DuPont and Dow Chemical. Such corn seeds have been genetically modified to secrete proteins that are toxic to destructive insects. The [Environmental Protection Agency's] proposal would require seed companies to limit some Midwestern farmers practice of sowing fields with corn year after year in areas harboring resistant rootworms. The agency is taking a tougher stance because the industrys efforts havent done enough. Genetically modified corn ... was planted on an estimated 80% of U.S. cornfields last year, up from 19% in 2000. Midwestern farmers embrace of pest-resistant corn since the first varieties launch in 1996 has diminished its power. Repeated exposure to the corns bug-killing proteins means that the small number of rootworms that are able to consume the BT toxin and live can reproduce by the thousands and spread across fields that are used to grow corn year after year. Over large areas, the [modified] corn plants will lose effectiveness, and growers will be forced to rely much more on insecticides, said [University of Arizona entomology professor] Bruce Tabashnik. Thats bad for their bottom line, and its bad for the environment.
Note: The full article can be found on this webpage. In order to engineer pest-resistant corn, chemical companies must saturate seedling fields with pesticides. Birth defects and other illnesses increase sharply around those fields. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.
Pediatrician Carla Nelson ... waited for the ambulance plane to take the infant from Waimea, on the island of Kauai, to the main childrens hospital in Honolulu. It was the fourth [severe heart malformation] she had seen in three years. There have been at least nine in five years, she says, shaking her head. Thats more than 10 times the national rate. Corn thats been genetically modified to resist pesticides [is] a major cash crop on four of [Hawaii's] six main islands. In Kauai, chemical companies Dow, BASF, Syngenta and DuPont spray 17 times more pesticide per acre than on ordinary cornfields in the US mainland. About a fourth of the total are called Restricted Use Pesticides because of their harmfulness. Just in Kauai, 18 tons mostly atrazine, paraquat (both banned in Europe) and chlorpyrifos were applied in 2012. The World Health Organization this year announced that glyphosate, sold as Roundup, the most common of the non-restricted herbicides, is probably carcinogenic in humans. When the spraying is underway ... residents complain of stinging eyes, headaches and vomiting. At these times, many crowd the waiting rooms of the towns main hospital, which was run until recently by Dow AgroSciences former chief lobbyist in Honolulu. The chemical companies that grow the corn ... refuse to disclose with any precision which chemicals they use, where and in what amounts, but they insist the pesticides are safe. Today, about 90% of industrial GMO corn grown in the US was originally developed in Hawaii.
Vermont is scheduled to become the first U.S. state to require foods with altered DNA to be labelled as such. Rocker Neil Young is lending his support to the states efforts. Young, who performed in concert Sunday at the Champlain Valley Exposition in Vermont, appeared earlier with Gov. Peter Shumlin and donated $100,000 to a fund devoted to defending Vermonts genetically modified organism, or GMO, labeling law from legal challenges. Its a huge gift, and we need more like them, Shumlin said Monday. The money will be used to help defray the costs of a legal battle that Attorney General Bill Sorrell has estimated could cost the state as much as $8 million. The Grocery Manufacturers of America and other industry groups are suing to block the law before its scheduled implementation date, July 1, 2016. Young has been touring to promote a new album, The Monsanto Years, which is sharply critical of the Monsanto Co.s role in agriculture.
Note: Monsanto's political clout in the U.S. recently led to what has been popularly termed "the Monsanto protection act." The risks and dangers of genetically engineering crops are becoming increasingly clear.
After an arm of the U.N.'s World Health Organization (WHO) identified the main ingredient in Monsanto's popular weed killer Roundup as "probably carcinogenic to humans," France has taken a step to limit sales of the herbicide. On Sunday, French Ecology Minister Segolene Royal announced that the government would ban the sale of Roundup at garden centers in the country. Roundup and generic versions of glyphosate are still the most widely used herbicides in the world, among farmers and municipalities alike. As of 2012, it was the top choice of New York City for killing weeds in its parks. Farmers like Roundup because "Roundup Ready" versions of crops like corn and soybeans have been modified to specifically tolerate the herbicide, allowing growers to spray Roundup widely across their fields without damaging their crops. Shortly after the WHO announcement, Patrick Moore, who has an ecology Ph.D. and is a controversial defender of genetically modified crops, offered to drink Roundup on French television to prove its safety. But when a TV host offered him a glass of the stuff, Moore refused, and the video of the exchange quickly went viral online.
Note: The Netherlands, Bermuda, and Sri Lanka preceded France in banning over the counter sales of Roundup. Watch a revealing documentary showing how Monsanto ruthlessly pursued farmers to stop them from planting their own seeds and corrupted judges to illegally support their efforts. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.
Neil Young ... has a new album coming out at the end of June called "The Monsanto Years." And it's a biting attack on the seed giant -- as well as other big corporations. The title track refers to "the poison tide of Monsanto" and describes a farmer who "signs a deal for GMOs that makes life hell with Monsanto." Young also lashes out at Starbucks in a song called "A Rock Star Bucks a Coffee Shop." "I want a cup of coffee but I don't want a GMO. I like to start my day off without helping Monsanto," Young sings in his trademark nasal whine. The singer announced ... that he would no longer drink Starbucks lattes because the company, along with Monsanto, was part of the Grocery Manufacturers Association trade group. That organization sued the state of Vermont to overturn a law that would require food and beverage companies to disclose on their labels if GMOs are used in the products. "GMO labeling matters. Mothers need to know what they are feeding their children. They need freedom to make educated choices at the market," Young said. Young also rails against the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling on campaign finance in several songs. And he criticizes Walmart's labor practices in a song called "Big Box," which has the following verse: "People working part-time at Walmart never get the benefits for sure." So far, it looks like Walmart isn't planning to retaliate against Young. You can preorder "The Monsanto Years" at Walmart.com.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing genetic modification news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.
From Paris to Ouagadougou, thousands of people took to the streets Saturday to protest against the American biotechnology giant Monsanto and its genetically modified crops and pesticides. The third annual March Against Monsanto was being held in upwards of 400 cities in more than 40 countries. About 2,500 people staged anti-Monsanto protests in the Swiss cities of Basel and Morgues, where the company has its headquarters for Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Up to 3,000 protesters ... gathered in Paris, with Monsanto's market-leading herbicide Roundup the main targets of protesters' anger. The controversial product's main ingredient was recently classified as "probably carcinogenic to humans" by the World Health Organization. "Looking for mass suicide? Go for Roundup," read one placard at another French protest in the western city of Rennes. Halfway around the planet in Burkina Faso, around 500 marched against the US giant which introduced GM cotton into the west African country in 2003. Demonstrators demanded a 10-year moratorium on the planting of Monsanto seeds so "independent research can be conducted" into the effects of the technology. Up to 1,000 anti-Monsanto activists gathered in front of the European Parliament in Strasbourg as the sun was setting for a minute's silence "in homage to the existing and future victims poisoned by pesticides", according to the organisers. The worldwide March Against Monsanto was begun in 2013 by the Occupy movement.
Note: Monsanto's political clout in the U.S. recently led to what has been popularly termed "the Monsanto protection act." The negative health impacts of Monsanto's RoundUp are well known and this product is considered by the WHO to "probably cause cancer", while the risks and dangers of genetically engineering crops to tolerate such chemicals are becoming increasingly clear.
A Vermont law that could make the state the first in the country to require labeling of genetically modified food has been allowed by a federal judge to stand for now despite opposition by food industry groups. U.S. District Court Judge Christina Reiss in Burlington on Monday ruled against the Grocery Manufacturers' Association and other industry groups in their request for a preliminary order to block the law from going into effect as scheduled on July 1, 2016. The case is likely to go to trial. The ruling comes nearly a year after Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin signed the law, under which Vermont is expected to become the first state to require genetically modified organism, or GMO, food labeling. The Grocery Manufacturers Association was joined by the Snack Foods Association, the International Dairy Foods Association and the National Association of Manufacturers as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, seeking to have Vermont's law declared unconstitutional. Supporters of the law have included consumer and environmental groups. The judge found that the concerns embedded in Vermont's law were well within the state's purview. "The safety of food products, the protection of the environment, and the accommodation of religious beliefs and practices are all quintessential governmental interests, as is the State's desire 'to promote informed consumer decision-making,'" she wrote, quoting from the state's court filings.
Note: Can you believe that industry groups are claiming it is unconstitutional to require labeling of GMOs? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on genetically modified foods from reliable major media sources.
Scientists in China have genetically modified human embryos in a world first. The Chinese group used a genome editing procedure called Crispr to modify an aberrant gene that causes beta-thalassaemia, a life-threatening blood disorder, in faulty IVF embryos obtained from local fertility clinics. The team, led by Junjiu Huang at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, is the first to publish such work, confirming rumours that have been circulating for months that human embryos had been modified in China. The work is described in the journal Protein and Cell. Two prominent journals, Nature and Science, rejected the paper citing ethical objections, Huang said. Last month, researchers writing in Nature called for a global moratorium on the genetic modification of human embryos, citing grave concerns over the ethics and safety. They added that any therapeutic benefits were tenuous. Genetic modification of the DNA in human embryos would not only affect the individual but their children and their childrens children and so on down the generations. That could halt the inheritance of genetic diseases that run in families, but it could also pass on unforeseen medical problems that the procedures may cause. One of the main safety concerns with genome editing is the risk of changes being made to healthy genes by accident. These so-called off-target edits happened far more than expected in Huangs study, suggesting that the procedure they used is far from safe.
Note: The negative effects of generically modified foods on health are becoming clear. What will happen if our human gene-pool is similarly tinkered with?
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