Introducing potential harm and eliminating competition for certain industries with genetic modification?


Many long established food and farming systems are collapsing, and some of those who have long been demonising traditional meat and dairy, or envisioned more control of a valuable resource like the food supply, are racing in to capitalise.

But all is not well, because what is trying to establish itself with great force is not entirely wholesome. There are undercurrents that make progress seem elusive for those who are committed to growth of raw dairy in Australia. Old patterns of control are playing themselves out, and unravelling in a very public and assertive way, and we can gain more insight into what previously took place behind the scenes. This may be another one of those articles where readers may feel indignant initially, but may benefit from reading anyway.

According to this article, scientists from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have discovered that cattle gene edited not to grow horns, unexpectedly contain bacterial DNA.

These include complete DNA sequences that confer antibiotic resistance. This study shows just how risky it is to deregulate new genetic modification (GM) techniques in animals, plants and microbes.

These techniques are not as precise as has been claimed, and can result in high levels of unexpected genetic mutations in mammals, raising serious animal welfare, environmental and food safety concerns. The developers of these cattle did not detect these potentially dangerous genetic inserts. According to the article, experts from the FDA pointed out that the errors caused by the genetic engineering technique are unlikely to be individual cases. Learn more details here.

This is another example of the so-called ‘good reasons and excuses’ given to act on something, and it ending up as a back door that introduce potential harm. We should all be careful of introducing elements to our food supply that is alien to nature as a force of benevolence. Can you imagine what this could mean for the raw milk movement if our herds included complete DNA sequences that confer antibiotic resistance? We may be stuck with pasteurised milk (and cold pressed milk) for the rest of our lives. As only sterilisation may get rid of the threat, who knows how many other foods may also need to be sterilised for food safety, because they may inherently contain or confer some kind of trojan horse.

We’ve recently posted a detailed article on how antibiotic-resistant microbes are a man-made problem, and now the Australian government is actually considering to introduce more potential harm?

Of potential trojan horses, competition and ‘climate change’

We have written before about how potential pitfalls in raw milk systems and even vaccines, and tests frequently used in the livestock sector, can act like a ‘trojan horse’ to bring the industry to its knees. We have also written about the importance of installing the right controls into raw dairy systems, and the weeding out of the dysfunctional. If these genetic modification techniques were allowed in Australia, it may require the introduction of a whole new set of controls to ensure raw dairy is safe. Australia currently allows raw goat’s milk in some states, and the production of raw milk cheese. This poses a threat to the long term viability of these industries.

The new gene editing technology may even end up being a mechanism that eliminates competition for certain industries, or create monopolies for others.

We’ve recently seen a huge global push for the reduction in consumption of meat and dairy, with so-called ‘climate change’ as a ‘good reason’. The vegan and imitation food interests, who are pushing for this a great deal, stand to benefit from it. The ABC’s Foreign Correspondent recently did a detailed story on plant and cell-based food substitutes, watch this 6 minute video or watch the full story here. It’s about the Silicon Valley up-starts and disrupters who are locked in a high stakes battle over the future of our food. Silicon Valley scientists and entrepreneurs are cooking up new types of foods, which threaten to take a big bite out of the profits of the multi-billion-dollar meat industry. On the menu are bleeding burgers made from plants, and chicken nuggets grown in labs from animal cells. Critics call it ‘frankenfood’ but the substitute meat industry claims it wants to feed the world and save the environment. And it’s backed by big money. In the USA both imitation meat and milk grown in a lab is now a reality that will soon be mass produced, if the reports and the media can be believed.

UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, released on the 8th of August actually said that balanced diets should include animal-sourced food - but from a certain kind of production system - although the media coverage of it used it as an attempt to push the vegan, plant-based diet. There is a clear push - in the media - to bulldoze the idea that this is the only way forward. Farmers are frustrated by the biased reporting on the IPCC climate study, and also by the decidedly anti-meat and anti-dairy agendas.

Earlier this week the ABC aired Climate Change: The Facts with naturalist David Attenborough, that also called for a reduction in consumption of meat and dairy. Fortunately at the 51 minute time marker, someone remarked that: "The problem is not traditional farming techniques. The problem is with intensive farming," which we can agree with. Australia urgently needs real sustainable agriculture policy. The lack of farming and food systems with strong consumer preference behind it - often due to unfair regulations or resistance to change - have created huge social problems. Raw dairy production is the sustainable and traditional farming that have been done for thousands of years. These animals must graze on pasture for the food safety of the end product. Grassland is a resilient carbon sink (see this study) where ruminants are a beneficial part of a natural cycle in nature.

Food systems as a sense of security, belonging and purpose

Many countries have long established raw dairy systems, and other private food club arrangements. Many examples show that these communities highly value their like-minded connections. They consider the direct relationship with food producers as a powerful opportunity to reap abundance. Membership in these groups provide a kinship, and a purpose that comes from working together for the greater fulfilment of the needs of all. In turbulent times like these, all in the community can draw on the established relationship which includes provision, reciprocity, support and food security. They don’t want their valuable foods to be adulterated by these so-called ‘beneficial’ technologies. Climate action doesn’t have to include the significant reduction of meat and dairy, but some seem to prefer it that way. Many examples on our website show that there is a great deal of envy in the hearts of those who love wealth and power, over this joyful relationship and the financial transactions that take place over highly valuable food, which some view as competition.

The Gene Technology Amendments Regulations Australia

The Gene Technology Amendments Regulations 2019 now before the Federal Parliament propose to exempt whole classes of new genetically modified techniques and the plants, animals and microbes produced from regulatory oversight in Australia.

Changes to the Gene Technology Regulations currently tabled in Federal Parliament will leave most uses of CRISPR and other gene editing tools unregulated. This means anyone can use these methods to genetically modify animals, plants and microbes without telling our Gene Technology Regulator. This regulatory vacuum potentially poses major hazards to the environment and human health.

In July 2018, the European Union’s top court ruled that new GM techniques such as CRISPR pose similar risks to older GM techniques and need to be assessed for safety in the same way. New Zealand will also be regulating these techniques as GM. Even the US FDA – which is not known for its precautionary approach to gene technology – has proposed that gene edited animals be assessed for food safety.

This information is currently being circulated in farming circles. The Gene Technology Amendment (2019 Measures No. 1) Regulations 2019 will become law in Australia on 8th October 2019, unless the Senate disallows them. Please contact the Shadow Health Minister Chris Bowen to demand that all GMOs continue to be assessed for safety before any release into the environment and our food supply. The petition states that if these amendments are passed,

"our families risk eating untested, unlabelled genetically modified (GM) foods – including animals. Powerful scientific evidence shows that new GM techniques such as CRISPR pose risks that require expert assessment and management. It’s vital that gene edited organisms are assessed for safety before being released into our environment and supermarkets.

Federal agencies that should be protecting us have sided with the biotech industry and are proposing to deregulate a range of risky new GM techniques. The Office of Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) relied on out-dated advice from scientists with serious conflicts of interest to reach their decision.

The European Union’s top court ruled that the new GM techniques pose similar risks to older GM methods and must be assessed for safety in the same way. Reviews commissioned by the Austrian and Norwegian Governments agree.

Under the proposed regulatory changes, Australia would be the first country in the world to deregulate the use of these new GM techniques in animals. This is likely to result in trade disruptions. Key export markets such as Europe and China have zero tolerance for GM products they have not approved."

Take Action here:

Australian Food and Water Security is at significant risk

Earlier today Alan Jones published an interview with retired irrigation farmer Ron Pike about the water crisis facing not just regional Australia, but each and every Australian. Ron explains how farmers have been forgotten, and warns the supply of food and water to major cities is at significant risk. In this country there is a huge divide between rural and urban Australia - that can only really be healed if farmers were able to sell directly to the consumer. Ron finished the interview with this incredibly powerful message for the people of Australia:

“The people of regional communities across the basin are on the point of absolute despair, they have no future, suicide has become a major problem across the basin.

“And I would just like to say to your listeners in the city, if ever there was a time you need to stand up and speak up on behalf of those people, it is now.

“They cannot continue under this plan and survive.”

Last words…

We are living in a time where there is a top down force that seeks to prescribe what people should be eating, instead of us making up our own minds about what kind of food and food production systems we want to participate it. If over the top regulations in Australia, idealistic food manufacturers, and other big business interests did not hinder farmers and eaters from connecting, our food system would look a lot different.

New technologies may make it harder for the kind of food systems that we desire, while pushing us towards food alternatives we may have no desire for. The ‘game’ is becoming more transparent and ‘interesting’, and the stakes are pretty high. As farmers and eaters, we are going to have to find it in our hearts to forgive the irresponsible, hurtful behaviour and intrusion on our values and lives. Forgiveness frees you from the shackles of another’s influence on your life, and may propel individuals towards alignment with the energy to fuel soulful aspirations.


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