Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) recently made a startling discovery that should worry all American citizens: the U.S. government is funding research into something called “transgenic edible vaccines,” which could have come straight out of a science fiction novel. This alarming issue is happening right before our eyes and needs to be addressed immediately.
In 2021, it was reported that scientists at the University of California, Riverside have been researching this technology in order to produce edible vaccines.
According to the press release published by the University of California, the project aims to utilize mRNA technology, similar to that used in COVID-19 vaccines, to turn edible plants into vaccine factories.
The research is funded by a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation and has three primary goals:
- To successfully deliver DNA containing the mRNA vaccines into plant cells where it will replicate.
- To demonstrate that plants can produce enough mRNA to rival a traditional vaccine shot.
- To determine the right dosage of the vaccine.
Juan Pablo Giraldo, an associate professor at UCR, is leading the research. He envisions a future where people could grow these transgenic plants in their gardens, and farmers could cultivate entire fields of them.
“Ideally, a single plant would produce enough mRNA to vaccinate a single person,” said Juan Pablo Giraldo.
“We are testing this approach with spinach and lettuce and have long-term goals of people growing it in their own gardens,” Giraldo said. “Farmers could also eventually grow entire fields of it.”
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Effectively delivering the genetic material to a plant’s chloroplast, small organs in plant cells that convert sunlight into energy the plant can use, is critical to rolling out the vaccinated food.
“[Chloroplasts are] tiny, solar-powered factories that produce sugar and other molecules which allow the plant to grow,” Giraldo said. “They’re also an untapped source for making desirable molecules.”
The research involves altering the genetic makeup of plants, which could have unforeseen consequences. Genetically modifying edible plants with experimental vaccines for public consumption is the culmination of a dream, the associate professor explained.
“One of the reasons I started working in nanotechnology was so I could apply it to plants and create new technology solutions. Not just for food, but for high-value products as well, like pharmaceuticals,” he said.
On Wednesday, Rep. Massie began his speech by stating, “Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of my amendment, which states that none of the funds made available by this act may be used to fund any grant related to any transgenic edible vaccine.”
He went on to elaborate that this isn’t some far-fetched idea, “Does the term transgenic edible vaccine sound far-fetched? Well, it’s not. We’re funding it.”
“I don’t think the American people should be funding this. And I think, and I would hope, that we’ve learned something from the COVID experience with SARS-CoV-2, that some of our science projects aren’t the best ideas,” Massie continued.
“What could possibly go wrong with this research? Well, we found out a few years ago when a biotech company was experimenting growing in corn a vaccine to keep pigs from getting diarrhea. What happened? Well, the next year where the corn was grown, the prior year the corn came up, and it got co-mingled with soybeans that were being grown there. It contaminated 500 bushels of soybeans, which were then co-mingled with 500,000 bushels of soybeans. And those all had to be recalled and destroyed. Luckily, they caught it.”
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“Do we want humans eating vaccines that were grown in corn meant to stop pigs from getting diarrhea? I don’t think we want that to happen. Yet that almost happened, and it could happen. There’s another case where the pollen cross-contaminated another crop of corn, and 155 acres of corn had to be burned. What are the cases where we’re not discovering this? I think it’s dangerous to play God with our food,” Rep. Massie asked.
He warned against the dangers of playing God with our food supply, emphasizing that it’s not just about keeping prices low; it’s about ensuring the safety and integrity of the food we consume.
“I think we need a safe food supply. And this is about food safety. Ultimately, the people in this country need to know what’s in their food. And if we start contaminating the DNA of our food with DNA from other animals or viruses, the pollen could spread, and we don’t know what could happen. And I would hope we’ve learned a lesson from the Wuhan lab that sometimes things escape sometimes things don’t go as you plan and so that’s why i think it’s a bad idea to fund transgenic edible plant vaccine research from the USDA,” said Massie.
Scientists, funded with your tax dollars, are trying to turn edible plants like lettuce and spinach into mRNA vaccine factories. It's dangerous to play God with our food. The House just passed my amendment to prohibit USDA funding of this research. pic.twitter.com/XEyWGGZm5q
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) September 27, 2023
According to the congressman, his amendment to prohibit USDA funding of this research was passed by the House.
Update on Food Freedom legislation from last night:
✅Protecting HerdShares: passed by voice
✅Prohibiting funds for transgenic edible plant vaccines: passed by voice
⁉️Stopping the electronic cattle tag mandate: vote today!
⁉️Ending the corrupt check-off program: vote today! pic.twitter.com/23vCCgCsQR
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) September 27, 2023
The Defender reports:
The amendment, introduced by Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) to the agricultural appropriations bill H.R. 4368, would bar the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from funding the vaccines for fiscal year 2024.
A vote on the full bill in the House is still pending as of this writing.
In an interview with The Defender, Massie said he introduced the amendment after learning about a recent project in California, funded by a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, that involves growing lettuce and trying to get the lettuce to produce mRNA vaccines that are intended to be consumed by humans who eat the lettuces.
Massie said he is concerned “that plants cross-pollinate and pollen from these modified plants, food-producing plants, could carry in the wind to other fields and contaminate them. And we could really contaminate a lot of our food supply with unknown doses of vaccines that would deliver unknown dosages.”
“Plants release pollen and it can go anywhere with the wind or with insects, and I just think it’s a bad idea,” he added.
Erica Carlin is an independent journalist, opinion writer and contributor to several news and opinion sources. She is based in Georgia.