Richard Edmondson is an author, novelist, poet, and journalist whose writings often focus on Middle East issues, the Zionist lobby, and religion. His latest novel is The Memoirs of Saint John: When the Sandstone Crumbles, a story about an archaeological team doing a dig in Syria and set amidst the current conflict in the country.

In 2014 Richard attended an International Conference on Combating Terrorism and Religious Extremism, held in Damascus. The book is part two in the Memoirs of Saint John series.

Two other books by Richard are Rising Up: Class Warfare in America from the Streets to the Airwaves, relating his experiences founding and operating an unlicensed or "pirate" FM radio station in San Francisco in the 1990s, as well as a volume of poetry entitled American Bus Stop: Essay and Poems on Hope and Homelessness.

Richard is cognizant of the words of the early Christian writer Tertullian, who in the second century-basically prognosticating the fall of the Roman Empire-wrote: "We have made merry amid the ludicrous cruelties of the noonday exhibition."


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Was Genetic Engineering a Factor in the Zika Outbreak?

Gene Splicers, Mosquitoes and Wall Street

dnapic

Sometimes I think humans are the stupidest species on the planet. We are the only species that, solely for the sake of profit, endeavor to develop technologies that not only are completely unnecessary for our survival but have a potential risk factor of bringing about our own destruction. This has been going on for much of the last century, and we have amply demonstrated over the same time we will believe any lie told to us provided it comes from a “credible” source.

And one of those “credible” sources is “science.”

I normally am not a science writer, but for the past few days stories about genetically modified mosquitoes have been buzzing around the Internet with regard to Zika, the latest virus that seems to be threatening certain populations in lesser developed areas of the world. Depending upon which source you believe, such mosquitoes are either, a) the solution to the Zika outbreak, or, b) the cause of it.

Let’s examine theory “a” first. The idea that GM mosquitoes (GMM) might rescue the people of Brazil and other countries seems to stem from  a January 19 press release put out by Oxitech, a British company that describes itself as “a pioneer in controlling insects that spread disease and damage crops.”

The gist of the press release is that the company will be opening a “mosquito production facility” in the city of Piracicaba, Brazil, the function of which will be to produce “self-limiting mosquitoes whose offspring do not survive.” The male mosquitoes have been genetically altered in such a way that they are incapable, theoretically at any rate, of producing viable offspring. Thus, the GMM’s will be released into the wild, where they will mate with female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the main vector of the Zika virus, and henceforth they will dramatically reduce the mosquito population.

That’s the theory, at any rate. Fox News, NPR, CBS, The Guardian, Time, CNN and others all went with the story, all plugging the use of GMM’s and suggesting it might be useful in the fight against the Zika virus.

“There is no biological mechanism by which the Oxitec bug’s modified pieces of DNA can transfer into human DNA, or into other mammals and insects,” Ford Vox asserts confidently in an opinion piece at CNN.

In other words, it’s not only safe, it has the potential to help rid the world of a terrible disease. Vox, by the way, according to CNN, is a doctor.

Now let’s examine theory “b.” On January 25, an article got posted at Reddit with a link to an earlier Oxitec press release, dating back to July 2015. That earlier press release announced the release of GMMs in Brazil, this in the effort to fight dengue fever. Specifically, the mosquito-release took place in Juazeiro, in northeast Brazil, in virtually the same area where babies are now being born with microcephaly.

Map showing location of Juazeiro, Brazil

Map showing location of Juazeiro, Brazil

 

Map showing areas of Brazil where Zika has been reported

Map showing areas of Brazil where Zika has been reported

On January 29, alternative media outlets began to publish the story, and on January 30, RT came out with a piece as well, under the headline, GMO mosquitoes could be cause of Zika outbreak, critics say. The rather interesting thing about the RT report is that it contains a link to an article published in The Guardian back in 2012. That article includes some rather astounding information, so let’s take a look at it.

Under the headline, Can GM Mosquitoes Rid the World of a Major Killer?, the story was published in the Guardian on July 14, 2012. The “major killer” referred to is dengue fever. Like the other stories I’ve linked to above, i.e. those published in the past week or so, the 2012 piece mentions the work by Oxitec, including its efforts in Brazil and other countries. But now here’s the real eye-popper. It seems Oxitec, already at that time in 2012, was releasing mosquitoes into the air, and not just in Brazil, either:

The mosquitoes developed and raised here at the laboratories of Oxitec, a British biotech company based near Didcot, have already infiltrated wild populations in Brazil, Malaysia and the Cayman Islands, and will soon be unleashed in Panama and India. The company hopes that it will reduce populations of disease-carrying mosquitoes by 80% but public opposition to anything “genetically modified” remains a significant obstacle to the possibility of saving thousands of lives.

So in other words, if The Guardian article is correct, the release of genetically engineered mosquitoes in Brazil didn’t begin in 2015; it started at least as far back as 2012.

According to its website, Oxitec “was formed in 2002 as a spin out from the University of Oxford,” and hence the company’s name (in reality a shortened version of Oxford Insect Technologies). It’s aim is to pioneer “environmentally safe methods of insect control,” and to this end it has developed genetically modified versions not only of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, but also the Mediterranean fruit fly and the pink bollworm.

Last year, in August to be exact, Oxitec was purchased by Intrexon Corp. In an article published January 28, 2016, the Motley Fool financial site reported that shares of Intrexon had “surged as much as 24% during Thursday’s trading session as a direct result of the spreading Zika virus.” The article is headlined, “Intrexon Corporation Catches Zika Fever.”

The CEO of Intrexon is Randal J. Kirk, who describes himself as “a lifelong student of business,” while one of the company’s top-ranking executives is Sr. Vice President Nir Nimrodi, formerly employed by the biotech firm Life Technologies,  now a part of Thermo Fischer Scientific. Nimrodi, according to Reuters, previously served with the Israeli Ministry of Defense.

The 2012 article in the Guardian informs us also that the Oxitec mosquitoes–though deliberately engineered not to produce offspring–could in fact generate viable young if they somehow gained access to the antibiotic tetracycline. Or as the story puts it:

The altered males are fed tetracycline in the lab and then introduced into the wild where they mate with wild females. The offspring need tetracycline to develop but cannot find it and so die. Only males are introduced into the environment and in a few days both they and their offspring are dead.

But of course, ranchers and farmers have been feeding antibiotics to cattle for a good many years now, so what happens if, for instance, one of Oxitec’s mosquitoes should come into contact with domestic animals pumped full of tetracycline? The issue is in fact raised by a biotech industry critic quoted in the story:

Critics of Oxitec say that the company is rushing to commercialise its products to provide a return on investment, massaging research while leaving key questions unanswered. Dr Helen Wallace, the director of GeneWatch, says she has several problems with Oxitec’s findings from its trials. One major issue, she says, is the occurrence of the tetracycline – the antibiotic that the young mosquitoes need to survive – in livestock and meat. Theoretically, if a female mosquito, daughter to a modified one, bit meat or an animal that contained tetracycline, she could survive. Oxitec says that the chance of this happening is very slim and in its most recent trial in the Caymans, it did not find a single mosquito that had survived.

Wallace says: “It’s a very experimental approach which has not yet been successful and may cause more harm than good. They are pushing ahead to commercialise their approach so they can start paying back their investors.

“I would be happier if there were more experiments in controlled areas, caged areas and labs, before general release in the populated areas. For example, in an area where dengue fever is endemic there’s a possible danger to the public.”

Wallace believes that existing control methods could be just as effective as releasing genetically modified insects and points out there are other innovations on the horizon which could be even more successful.

Tetracycline, by the way, can also be produced by bacteria in soils, and thus can occur naturally in the environment.

Back in 2014, when Ebola was ravaging countries in West Africa, news surfaced on some alternative websites that the epidemic had been preceded by a period of time in which the US government and certain pharmaceutical corporations had conducted ebola tests on humans, presumably in the interest of developing a vaccine. This was the subject of an article at the time by Paul Craig Roberts, who discusses the findings of Francis Boyle, of the University of Illinois, and Dr. Cyril Broderick, of the University of Liberia.

“Reports narrate stories of the US Department of Defense (DoD) funding Ebola trials on humans, trials which started just weeks before the Ebola outbreak in Guinea and Sierra Leone,” said Broderick. “The reports continue and state that the DoD gave a contract worth $140 million dollars to Tekmira, a Canadian pharmaceutical company, to conduct Ebola research. This research work involved injecting and infusing healthy humans with the deadly Ebola virus.”

Why, we might wonder, don’t these corporations, if their work is so benign and altruistic, do their research in their own countries on their own populations? Why do they continuously seem to go to countries in Africa and Latin America?

Roberts’ article came out just a month after reports in the mainstream media regarding a group of health officials and journalists that came under attack in Guinea by local villagers who “feared that outsiders” had brought the disease into their community. Where on earth would they get such an idea?

The January 19 press release from Oxitec quotes company CEO Hadyn Parry as well as Piracicaba Mayor Gabriel Ferrato, both of whom express delight at the partnership formed between the biotech firm and the Brazilian city. “The city of Piracicaba has always sought innovative solutions to serious problems,” Ferrato proclaims.

You have to wonder about the sales pitches thrown at local officials like Ferrato. “Trust us, we’re smart Western scientists,” or some variation thereof perhaps.

So if the mosquitoes that caused, or at least possibly caused, the Zika outbreak were genetically engineered, what about the virus itself? Was it also genetically engineered? Hard to say. According to Wikipedia, the Zika virus was first isolated in 1952, but Wikipedia is so full of spin on a such a variety of issues, particularly political ones, that it’s difficult to take anything the “encyclopedia” presents with much more than a grain of salt. What’s clear is that the biotech industry falls into the same category as the nuclear industry: though it might yield some positive benefits, it also has the potential to do humanity completely in. And at the same time it doesn’t seem to be nearly as tightly regulated as the nuclear industry. Apparently any greed-driven fool can set up a lab and start splicing genes without having to go through much in the way of regulatory oversight.

Recently Stephen Hawking, one of the somewhat more intelligent members of the stupidest species on earth, cautioned that humanity is heading toward a disaster of its own making, and he warned ominously of three dangers in particular that pose a dire challenge to life on the planet. The first two items of concern were pretty much what you would expect: nuclear war and climate change.

It was the third item, however, that possibly raised a good many eyebrows, or at least it raised mine, for the third item on the list–which Hawking ominously warned imperils humanity’s future–was…genetically engineered viruses. Quite fascinating, really, that the mainstream media, which in large part have never even acknowledged the existence of such viruses, would report Hawking’s words, but in fact they did.

“We are not going to stop making progress, or reverse it,” Hawking told listeners that night, “so we have to recognize the dangers and control them.”

It’s a warning the stupid human species would do well to keep in mind–but I’m reasonably sure we won’t.

Richard Edmondson is the author of The Memoirs of Saint John: When the Sandstone Crumbles, a novel about an archaeological expedition to Syria, set amidst the current conflict in the country

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Posted by on February 1, 2016, With 5736 Reads Filed under Health, Investigations. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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13 Responses to "Was Genetic Engineering a Factor in the Zika Outbreak?"

  1. LC  February 5, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    ZIKA=== Measles Vaccine ::::

    Last night Coast-2-Coast said all those infected with ZIKA recently had same type of measles vaccine (probably RKM made for genocide of whole populations)!!!!
    Vaccines probably pre-Olympic donations from WHO (RKM World Health Organization)!!!! === WGO ===World Genocide Organization!!!!

    One guest was a woman who described how U.S. polling machines been rigged with programs installed B-4 delivered. She even named individuals in several states who physically handle statewide rig jobs & get paid millions to do it!!!!

    So::: On top of fact that all candidates are RKM picked scums this vote rigging should help folks decide to boycott all voting from city level to DC cesspools!!!! & as told us by late statesman in

    YouTube:::: Why George Carlin Doesn’t Vote

  2. Danshee  February 4, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    And we can be certain that there is absolutely no field control how the new DNA, or how the GM-Mosquitos actually spread and whether there is any positive effect whatsoever ! It’s just another money machine AND most probably a hidden tagging/preparation of a specific human genpool fur multi vector purposes either money or war. And of course DNA transfer is taking place Retro-Viruses do it ! There is a whole ‘information system’ these idiots don’t even know off ! Even Lamarck type propagation can take place ! They are like chimps playing with fire in a house full of dynamite, we can be sure they will blow themselves up 100% certain. South America is an area which has been on the strategic sidelines, obviously this is to change dramatically in the coming years ! These technologies will bring about the glory of god back to this planet, but beforhand the Prince will purge the house clean……

  3. Voratapoles  February 3, 2016 at 7:40 am

    Need the question be asked. This is Ft. Detrick business. Like duuuuuuhhhhh.

  4. Richard Edmondson  February 2, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Jawnee, the worst that could happen is the unknown (an inherent factor in genetic engineering). There are other possible results and/or side effects, however, ranging in degrees of unpleasantness, and if their “bad judgement” includes misjudging the tetracycline in the environment, one of those might be an increase, rather than a decrease, in the mosquito population.

  5. Cold Wind  February 2, 2016 at 7:46 am

    Thanks for this article. Still, I’m betting the Zika virus has been modified by genetic engineers, our new “Masters of the Universe” set. This virus to kill off huge swaths of humanity–so the rich and powerful can have it even better. If this doesn’t work, or if Fukushima and the chemtrails, for example, don’t kill fast enough, they will come up with something else. They’re very creative, very determined.

  6. Eduard  February 1, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    You are absolutely correct.

    Mosquitoes are a carrier of blood-born diseases. Since when can a mosquito change the DNA of a virus though? Just because it is a GM mosquito doesn’t change this fact. The Vika virus has been around for over 70 years and is already found in tropical regions worldwide. Brazil has had the Vika virus for a long time and Vika has NEVER been associated with birth defects in any place in the world. It causes flu-like symptoms in one out of five people who contract it. So why is Zika being blamed?

    There is far more evidence that the birth defect epidemic in Brazil is the result of widespread anthropogenic chemical toxins.

    Microcephaly started to become epidemic at the same time the Brazilian government made the new TDaP vaccine mandatory for all pregnant Brazilian women in 2015. Records show that ALL mothers with birth defect babies received this newly formulated vaccine while pregnant!

    There is a cover-up and Vika is being used to exploit the petro-chemical cause of the massive microcephalic epidemic in Brazil. GM mosquitoes only add to obfuscate the culprit.

    Jon Rappaport also reports that Brazil, especially in this area of high birth defects, uses more pesticides than any country in the world.

  7. US-First  February 1, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    The DTaB vaccine made available last May to pregnant women in certain areas of South America seems the more likely culprit. The simple solution to back this assertion up is to have it made public just how many of the unfortunate women giving birth to children with Microcephaly were actually vaccinated with the DTaB vaccine.

    Aside from and including the population reduction effort by Gates et al., the crisis will probably provide another excuse to ramp up the anti-nature geoengineering program going on all over the Americas to deal with the mosquitoes. As if we haven’t had our fill of aluminum, barium and lithium and heaven knows what other inhuman agents to contend with everyday polluting the air.

    This from Geoengineering Watch

    [“The blatant and in plain sight experimentation on the US population continues unabated. A recent “press release” letter from 5 US congressmen (Ohio) sends a very clear message, they want a minimum of 10 new C-130J air tankers to continue “specialized spraying missions” over Ohio.

    We are told that this fleet of massive aerial tankers are:

    “to control disease-carrying insects, to eradicate undesirable plants, or to disperse oil spills.”]

    The truth is something far more evil.

    • Bill  February 1, 2016 at 6:56 pm

      Yup, it’s probably the T-dap vaccine. 1200 cases in Nov., 1200 in Dec. Probably just that many women rcvd. this wonderful new gentile baby-destroying vaccine. The Norge got Anders Brevik, the Japanese got Fukushima….the American cattle got 9-11…Iraq got “shock, awed and destroyed..” Libya got Wahabi terror and NATO air support. Syria got the same minus the NATO air support-thanks to Russia. It’s been a busy decade for Talmudia. Of course Russia got the NKVD which worked to death, tortured and/or murdered tens of millions of Russians. 11-13 million Germans were bombed and then raped and tortured or just beat to death ’43-’49.

    • camila  February 2, 2016 at 2:24 pm

      You’re right. I live in Brasil and the microcephaly case has nothing to do with the virus. It’s because of the vaccines.

  8. Preston James, Ph.D  February 1, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    A truly great article that exposes more soft-kill by the KM. All part of a worldwide eugenics “thin the herd” program.

  9. jawnee logik  February 1, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    I’m no fan of GMO anything, but this article and others like it that are focusing on that particular aspect of the “Zika Virus” scare are very misleading. If we can rely on the facts as presented in the article then the work carried out by Oxitec had nothing to do with this virus or any other actual virus. It only sought to close down the main disease carrying vector; the mosquito.

    If their efforts failed because of unforeseen variables, namely the Tetracycline then we are no worse off than if they had done nothing. There are no more mosquitoes now than were present before the start of their experiments. They simply failed to reduce the mosquito population as intended.

    The most they are guilty of is bad judgement in failing to account for all the variables in their experiment and maybe — this is a stretch — false advertising because they sold the end product and it failed to perform as advertised.

  10. rockwool  February 1, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    @ the author.

    Your first premise that it is humans that develop anti-human technologies is false.

    To be human is something you do, you perform yourself and therefore it is the essential part in categorizing an identity, while being humanoid is merely about form. Dolls can be humanoid.

    The scientists and businessmen you refer to are aliens in humanoid form.

  11. Altimometer  February 1, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    Seems a standard for false flag of problem, reaction,solution the nwo’s favorite thesis,antithesis,and the popular consensus.

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