GM risk assessment has always focused on the novel protein produced by the novel gene. But, evidence from far outside the realms of GM suggest the possibility that artificial DNA itself could induce disease.
In 2006, a comment submitted to the International Commission on Radiological Protection by the Sierra Club stated:
“Numerous academic researchers, independent scholars, and government bodies, such as the US National Academies of Science and National Research Council, have now concluded that the linear no-threshold hypothesis is valid and that there is no “safe” level of radiation exposure”.
What does this mean?
In risk assessments on substances, there is an assumption that as the dosage increases the harm experienced will increase proportionately. This model includes the existence of an upper exposure threshold which will always cause harm and a low threshold which never causes harm. It means, effectively, that there's no such thing as an entirely 'safe' substance but rather a safe level of the substance. Similarly, there's rarely such thing as an entirely 'harmful' substance, but rather a level which is harmful to exceed (also, see Note below).
The reality is not as neat as the model however. There are many exceptions to the rule. For example, higher doses of a toxin may trigger immune, or other physiological responses which limit its effects, or adaptive changes may be induced.
In the case of radioactive damage, there has been an assumption that low levels of radiation will cause low levels of physical damage in cells and that the cells will easily and naturally repair themselves. As the dosage increases, cells which can't repair themselves will self-destruct, and it is only when the radiation damage overwhelms these natural protective mechanisms that true 'harm' sets in. Note that the existence of thresholds is part of this model.
Unfortunately, scientific evidence as far back as 1954 describes how radiation damage is not confined to direct physical damage to the exposed cell. Such cells have the ability to transmit signals to neighbouring, unexposed, cells where they paradoxically induce the same harmful effect. This means that the amount of body tissue adversely affected can be increased exponentially if a single cell has been irradiated. In other words, there are no evident thresholds, and the 'no-threshold hypothesis' is valid'.
Recent science has unfolded the mechanism underlying radiation's ability to 'go viral' inside the body. It seems that cells altered by radiation may self-destruct (apoptosis). As the self-destructing cell dismantles itself, DNA fragments are released into its surroundings. It is these pieces of DNA which are the signals which bind to other cells and induce 'radiation' damage.
In this way, very low levels or very localised levels of radiation can spread their damaging effects throughout the body. Such insidious harm will inevitably cause disease somewhere.
Note. The model used for risk assessment of substances can easily be manipulated to change the outcome. By adjusting or redefining the 'harmful' parameter measured, for example by restricting the definition of 'harm' to structural change or even death, a substance can be made to appear 'safer' or 'more dangerous' as required. See BURYING DANGEROUS BAD NEWS - June 2012
DNA from healthy cells and dietary DNA circulate in the body and may also act as signals to tell the tissues and cells what's going on in and around them.
There's no reason to assume that when our cells are exposed to very strange man-made DNA constructs they won't react to the foreign signal by becoming diseased. Chronic disease might be an inevitable outcome from eating GM food.
- Dr Mae-Wan Ho, Bystander Effects Multiply Dose & Harm from Ionizing Radiation, Institute of Science in Society Report, 28.05.12
- Dr. Mae-Wan Ho, Truth about Fukushima, Institute of Science in Society Report, 5.06.12