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Does the truth about GMOs in food and pharmaceuticals lie in the funding behind the messaging?

Dr Patrick Jones examines the current messaging promoting GMOs and reveals that decades of careful legal work concerning GMO use has been undermined over the past three years, green-lighting a potential surfeit of novel GMOs in both food and pharmaceutical products.

This research is dedicated to those who journey beyond the safety of their algorithmic and social niches.

Opening without closing

The world’s populations were informed by authorities, media and experts that Covid is a zoonotic or ‘natural’ virus and the vaccines designed to combat it would never be engineered to be biologically active in the body. It appears that at least one of these stories was untrue, possibly both. What follows is my research, which has scoured the virtual halls of medical journals, philanthropic, media, scientific and academic institutions, and independent websites over the past three years, to find out.

If I’m reading any of the following inaccurately I’d appreciate your considered feedback in the comments. Only I ask you first read through the post carefully, checking the links and what I’m referring to, and adding to this research positively. Please consider this a working document, a collection of useful links and, more broadly, an information ecology, which I hope will be of some use.

I’m not interested in culture war reductionism. I believe the integrity of the human genome and more-than-human genes are too important to bother with ideological warfare. In relation to Covid there has never been ‘scientific consensus’, as this research attests. There has just been voices elevated, voices disappeared, and loads of ‘conspiracies theories,’ some of which have become or are becoming conspiracy facts. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who is taking this subject seriously, regardless of how differently we might be reading the current moment, and I offer this research in this spirit.

For those not familiar with what a GMO is, here’s my short definition: Artificially manipulated in laboratories by processes of genetic engineering, GMOs are ostensibly live organisms whose genetic material has been altered to create fusions of plant, animal, bacteria or virus genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional selection techniques.

Before I get going, here’s a screen grab I’d like you to read from the Australian Government’s Office of the Gene Technology Regulator. I will speak to this later in the piece.


The GMO movement’s great leap forward?

In late 2020, GMO food and drug proponent Mark Lynas wrote a piece in Alliance for Science, titled Yes, some COVID vaccines use genetic engineering. Get over it.

“We’ve all heard the conspiracy theories about COVID-19,” writes Lynas, “[n]ow a whole new set is emerging around COVID vaccines — and spreading as virulently as the pandemic they are meant to control.”

One of the prior conspiracies Lynas was referring to is the lab origin hypothesis. That is, Covid occurred via a genetically altered bat virus that had been engineered to become more pathogenic in people, and it therefore didn’t come from a wet market. The claim goes that this research, called gain-of-function, was carried out in the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). “This one at least has the benefit of being plausible,” says Lynas.

In Australia in mid 2020, Professor Clive Hamilton first spoke to this hypothesis in The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) in his piece, It would be unwise to dismiss Donald Trump’s Wuhan lab leak theory.

Of course, it wasn’t Trump’s theory at all, it was the theory of a group of independent researchers who called themselves DRASTIC – Decentralised Radical Autonomous Search Team Investigating COVID-19. In 2020 DRASTIC triggered a global conspiracy theory which continues to gain traction, evidence and distain.

Perhaps it was expedient of certain factions of the media to paint the lab origin hypothesis as a far right wing conspiracy and associate it with Trump, whereas in actual fact those who first proposed it were anarchists from various fields including mycology, information science and neuroscience. Nonetheless, the lab origin theory was quickly labelled a right-wing conspiracy.

Understandably, from the view of governments and industries involved in such research, there would be a lot of pressure to make the lab origin hypothesis disappear, especially given the claim that US funding dollars was spent at WIV in order to carry it out. While few now deny this research was taking place in 2019 and in the years prior, the case for the WIV being the place of origin for Covid has been hotly contested.

Here’s an example of the firm ‘no’ camp: “The Venn-diagram circles are really starting to overlap between the anti-vaccine movement and the so-called lab-leak movement. I don’t think that’s a coincidence,” said Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization at the University of Saskatchewan. “Conspiracies beget conspiracies.”

Many scientists like Rasmussen were quick to attack the lab-made pathogen theory, including Peter Daszak who seemingly had skin in the game at the WIV. Three years on, however, more evidence is mounting and the lab-enhanced coronavirus theory is looking increasingly like a conspiracy fact.

Australia’s CSIRO in Geelong was also linked to the coronavirus ‘bat laboratory’ theory in April 2020, and Danielle Anderson, an Australian virologist who conducted research at the WIV told Science, “Our [Lancet investigation into the origins] paper recognizes that there are different possible origins, but the evidence towards zoonosis is overwhelming.”

Ryan Grim from The Intercept uncovered last month what other journalists have also found, confirming Professor Hamilton’s suspicions three years earlier. Back in May 2021 Hamilton strengthened his argument with a second SMH piece stating the case for a leak of a virus engineered in a Wuhan lab where the research occurring, “ostensibly, was to develop vaccines.”

From the view inside the pharmaceutical industry, vaccine research and development had to be the saviour, not the cause of the pandemic. That wouldn’t look good for an industry with an already long track record of fraudulence and harm.

Grim reports how, Key Scientist in Covid Origin Controversy Misled Congress on Status of $8.9 Million NIH Grant. He writes, “[t]he debate over the origin of the novel coronavirus has also evolved into a meta-debate over how the narrative supporting a natural emergence was initially crafted in the winter and spring of 2020.”

The man who lead the attack on the lab engineered virus origin theory and pushed the zoonotic (natural) one is Peter Daszak, who leads EcoHealth Alliance, and was oddly enough a chief WHO investigator of the lab leak theory. Daszak and his team reported they found nothing at the WIV relating to engineering bat coronaviruses, yet in a 2016 New York Academy of Medicine conference on Pandemics Daszak boasted (1:16:50 – 1:17:30) of the genetic sequencing his “colleagues in China” were doing with bat coronaviruses, aimed at getting them to be “more pathogenic in people.” He was referring to his colleagues at the WIV.

It turns out that Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance had been providing money to the WIV via NIH grant money for genetically altering bat coronaviruses in the lead up to the outbreak. When the funding was cancelled EcoHealth Alliance put out a statement on their website, which included this:

“The research that the National Institutes of Health [NIH] terminated aimed to analyze the risk of coronavirus emergence and help in designing vaccines and drugs to protect us from COVID-19 and other coronavirus threats. In fact, genetic sequences of two bat coronaviruses that we discovered with this grant have been used as lab tools to test the breakthrough antiviral drug Remdesivir.” Bold type mine.

Remdesivir was slammed in Science for causing harm in Covid patients. The authors of the Science piece, Jon Cohen and Kai Kupferschmidt, wrote in late 2020, that “[q]uestions have also arisen about the potential of Remdesivir to do harm. WHO has a regular overview of possible adverse drug events related to COVID-19 treatments. In late August it noted a disproportionately high number of reports of liver and kidney problems in patients receiving Remdesivir compared with patients receiving other [repurposed] drugs for COVID-19.”

The link to the WHO webpage referring to the “disproportionately high number of reports of liver and kidney problems” is, at the time of writing, broken. The link now states: “This page cannot be found.” This might mean nothing or it may mean something, especially given Bill Gates is the second largest donor of the WHO (after the US government) and a major investor in Covid pharmaceuticals. The US government also invests in and subsidises (through US taxpayer money) the pharmaceutical industry.

It now seems evident that the WIV, helped by US funding, was conducting risky gain-of-function research to engineer the genes of bat viruses to help design vaccines. Whether the WIV is the place of origin for Covid or not, freedom of information requests have shown that GMO viruses and GMO vaccines to combat them were being developed by scientists working on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry.

For more on this read: Scientists who authored article denying lab engineering of SARS-CoV-2 privately acknowledged possible lab origin, emails show. Remarkably, the Biden Administration reinstated Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance funding for the controversial research at WIV in May 2023.

“In some ways, [the lab origin theory is] quite similar to the Hunter Biden laptop situation,” said Alina Chan, scientific adviser to the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. “Because the central or liberal media refused to cover it properly, it gave free rein to all of the right-wing media to report in the most polarizing, exaggerated way possible and inflame tensions.” Chan, rightly to my mind, calls out the liberal media’s role in the construction of a team sports approach to information.

In my conversations with Tyson Yunkaporta about this, both privately and publicly, I argued that fringe conspiracist groups have no real power by comparison to establishment media, which today acts as a propaganda wing for the state-corporate nexus.

In June this year, a month before Grim’s Intercept article, SMH journalist, Liam Mannix, declared the lab origin theory to be dead and buried in his, COVID-19 lab leak theory ends with a whimper, not a bang. In his piece, Mannix did not find relevant to detail and share the links to US funding for genetic engineering of viruses at the WIV.

Gain-of-function research had been off-shored in 2014 when President Obama banned it on US soil, in another case of ‘yes, but not in our backyard.’

Media and political capture?

It is important to note that behind Mannix’s payslip stands Peter Costello, former treasurer in the Howard government and now the Chairman of the Board at Nine Entertainment, the company that owns the SMH who Mannix is employed by. All of Nine’s extensive media from newsprint like the SMH and The Age, to radio and television stations has been uncritical of the pharmaceutical industry or the public health response throughout Covid. There may be good reason for this.

When Costello was Treasurer in John Howard’s right wing government in Australia, the chief pharmaceuticals advisor was former Pfizer Australia lobbyist, David Miles. Miles established Willard Public Affairs in 2011 after more than six years as Pfizer’s in-house political strategist. His bio on his website states:

“David has an extensive and influential network of political and media contacts including senior politicians and staff from all political parties at federal and state level.”

As of June 30, 2020 Costello, alongside his Nine Entertainment position, also presided over AU$188,438,725 in Pfizer shares in his role as Chair of Australia’s Future Fund. As of June 30, 2021 those Pfizer shares were valued at AU$211,719,381. By June 30, 2022, they were worth AU$318,381,814.

Why would the Chair of the board of Future Fund – Australia’s Sovereign Wealth Fund – who also presides over media outlets like the SMH and invests billions of dollars in big pharmaceutical corporations, permit negative press about those companies? Wouldn’t that potentially sabotage the investment portfolios he oversees?

The examples of Costello and Miles are what activists mean by ‘revolving doors’ between industry and government. These are not exceptional examples, rather today merely the way of doing business and government. Pharma lobbyists like Miles were typically on the right of politics before Obama’s presidency in the US. Since this time both sides of politics now receive pharmaceutical industry monies as ‘political donations’ in both Australia and in the US. Few have tracked this ethical slide in left-leaning parties.

Mark Lynas’ inflammatory attacks on heterodox thinkers and scientists who are questioning GMOs is an example of how some in the scientific media community work to create an impression of confidence for novel biotechnologies, irregardless of whether the confidence is warranted. However, probably more revealing than his pro GMO agenda is who is funding him.

If you scroll to the bottom of Lynas’ article you can find the institution that pays for his opinion, the institution which is also his publisher. “Alliance for Science, Operating Globally, Boyce Thompson Institute.”

Boyce Thompson Institute based at Cornell University received nearly US$10M in August 2020 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, just a few months before Lynas’ article appeared.

Notably, two main areas of Bill Gates’ financial investments are GMO pharmaceuticals and GMO agriculture, especially targeted at the Global South. Gates-funded Lynas writes:

“As we have reported before at the Alliance for Science, the anti-GMO and anti-vaccine movements substantially overlap. These groups tend to share an ideology that is suspicious of modern science and fetishsize ‘natural’ approaches instead. Whatever ‘natural’ means.”

Perhaps “natural” simply means in this context not synthetic and much-more-than-human in intelligence? Gates is now the largest landholder in the US, and one of the most aggressive proponents against Indigenous lifeways and for the colonisation of land, biology and technologies, as Indigenous food sovereignty activist Vandana Shiva attests. Shiva rightly states a case for being suspicious calling modern science “patriarchy’s project.”

Shiva stated in a late 2022 podcast that “Jeffrey Sachs [the Lancet commission chair on the origins of Covid]… has come out so clearly, saying ‘it was a lab escape,’ … and you’re getting very conservative groups recognising this was genetically engineered and it’s an escape.” Shiva then broadens her argument stating, “it’s a tool of biological warfare to try to actually design viruses that harm… You don’t do it in a society where you don’t want to cause harm…” This is consistent with her views on GMOs for decades and has criticised Bill Gates for being reckless with genetics, continuing the work of Monsanto.

Claire Robinson from GM Watch and Mariam Mayet from the African Centre for Biodiversity write about Lynas that he, “is the product of an industry-led drive to influence agricultural policy in Africa, as part of a well-resourced public relations machinery supported in particular by the Gates Foundation, which funds the Alliance for Science to the tune of USD 12 million. The philanthropic capitalist model adopted by Gates is no more than a new form of imperialism, disguising extractivist approaches behind the argument that Africans are unable to find their own solutions to the agricultural challenges facing the continent.”

In a strategy to capture narratives, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been funding major media outlets around the world for the past decade, especially targeting left and liberal medias.

The Guardian received their first instalment of Gates’ money in 2011. It was for US$5.6M. Intriguingly, in early 2013, The Guardian’s Will Storr wrote a flattering piece on the former anti-GMO activist Mark Lynas, who had just flipped sides to support GM agriculture.

I discovered that in September 2020 The Guardian received almost US$3.5M from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one month after Alliance for Science received nearly US$10M from Gates. The Guardian received the funding specifically for “Global Health and Development Public Awareness and Analysis.” Over the past decade the Gates Foundation has given Guardian News & Media Ltd US$12,229,391 in total, according to the Gates Foundation website.

This is what activists mean when they use the term ‘captured media’. But these media outlets are only two of hundreds of media institutions and universities who have received Gates’ money. Documents show Bill Gates has given $319 million to media outlets to promote his global agenda, most of these are liberal or left leaning.

“Recipients of this cash include many of America’s most important news outlets,” writes Alan Macleod in late 2021 in the left-leaning, The Grayzone, which hasn’t receive funding from Gates. “[I]ncluding,” Macleod continues, “CNN, NBC, NPR, PBS and The Atlantic. Gates also sponsors a myriad of influential foreign organizations, including the BBC, The Guardian, The Financial Times and The Daily Telegraph in the United Kingdom; prominent European newspapers such as Le Monde (France), Der Spiegel (Germany) and El País (Spain); as well as big global broadcasters like Al-Jazeera.”

This goes some way to explain why those whose politics have generally critiqued state and industry collusion, especially the corruption in the state-Pharma nexus, were so fundamentally captured by the messaging reach of Gates, and now seemingly remain silent on these issues. This, for example, is how The Guardian presented the acceptance of Gates’ money for their Global Development site:

“This website is funded by support provided, in part, by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The journalism and other content is editorially independent and its purpose is to focus on global development.” Personally, when I read the term ‘global development’ I see global imperialism. Pharmacolonisation – the overprescription of pharmaceuticals rolled out by the state-Pharma nexus – is just one chapter of it.

While it’s permissible today to say such considerable money is neutral or not loaded, is it actually possible to reach journalistic neutrality given this circumstance?

Having witnessed The Guardian throughout the pandemic I would attest that their claiming editorial independence is not accurate. Bias exists. To my mind The Guardian today, on the subjects of public health and global development, is little more than a sophisticated promotions agency for Bill Gates‘s business interests, even referring to him as a philanthropist rather than an aggressive business tycoon who strategically uses philanthropy as both a tax screen and a propaganda tool for his capture of whatever narrative he might be pushing, such as saving the world’s poor.

A legal challenge in Australia

GMO technologies have been controversial for decades, and the Covid vaccines appear to be the next chapter in such controversy. An Australian vaccinating doctor, Dr Julian Fidge, is currently suing Pfizer and Moderna for not being transparent about their Covid products being GMOs, which, he argues, should have required the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator to approve them.

“I’ve been vaccinated with these mRNA Covid-19 vaccines, and I’ve vaccinated thousands of patients, including my own children,” says Dr Fidge, who currently practices as a GP in Wangaratta. “But I have since become very concerned about the unregulated GMOs in these products, especially in the form of synthetic DNA contamination.”

It was reported that, “[t]he products relevant to the case include both the monovalent and the bivalent Covid-19 vaccines, COMIRNATY (Pfizer) and SPIKEVAX (Moderna). With reference to the legal definition of GMOs per the Gene Technology Act 2000, it is alleged the GMO components of these products are: 1. The LNP-modRNA complexes; and, 2. Synthetic DNA (modDNA) contamination, also in the form of LNP-modDNA complexes.”

The Guardian, The Age, the SMH or any other liberal media has notably not touched this story.

Lawyer Julian Gillespie writes in the International Journal of Vaccine Theory, Practice, and Research, that, “[d]ecades of sophisticated and detailed legislation created to safeguard humanity from exposure to genetically modified organisms was ignored or legislated away in an instant when SARS-CoV-2 arrived.”

Gillespie’s legal work reveals why the legal codes and details for operating novel synthetic sciences are important for the protection of human and ecological health.

“[My] article retraces the steps,” writes Gillespie in his The Canaries in the Human DNA Mine, “in what appears to be a sophisticated deception played out in legal language, technical scientific jargon, and by medical regulatory bodies acting as if they were serving public health.”

A new dawn of GMOs?

In his 2004 book, The Dawn of McScience, Richard Horton, current editor of the Lancet wrote, “Journals have devolved into information laundering operations for the pharmaceutical industry.” But today things appear to be much worse.

In early 2021, academics Justus Wesseler and Kai Purnhagen signalled enthusiastically that Covid would be an opportunity for GMO restrictions to be radically weakened in their paper, Is the Covid-19 Pandemic a Game Changer in GMO Regulation? In it they write that, “[t]he Covid‐19 pandemic has the potential to act as a much‐needed trigger for change. The European Parliament and Council agreed in Recital 17 of Regulation 2020/1043 that the approval procedure for GMOs (which aims at health and environmental protection) is ill‐suited to improving public health in the case of vaccination approval in the context of the Covid‐19 pandemic (Recital 17).” Wesseler and Purnhagen’s paper did not include a conflict of interest statement.

In mid 2021, GMO proponent Professor William Reville writing in The Irish Times Science supplement stated that, “[t]he final nail in the anti-GMO coffin is likely to be the spectacular success of the genetic technology that has just developed several highly effective vaccines against Covid-19 within the miraculously short time frame of one year.”

Two years on, given none of the GMO (mRNA) vaccines stopped transmission and offered only fleeting personal protection with a questionable risk/benefit, Reville’s confidence in GMOs seems misplaced. Or perhaps well placed. Reville is a retired emeritus professor at the School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology at University College Cork, which is funded by a range of institutions including the Wellcome Trust.

An article in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in 2021 questioned the role of financially invested organisations such as the Wellcome Trust and the Gates Foundation in Covid, and exposed their rarely examined conflicts of interest.

“What the pandemic is doing is buffing the reputation of organisations like Gates and Wellcome and the drug companies, when I don’t think they really deserve that buffing up,” says Joel Lexchin, professor emeritus of York University’s School of Health Policy and Management in Toronto. “I think they’re acting the way they always have, which is, from the drug companies’ point of view, looking after their own financial interests, and from the point of view of the foundations is pursuing their own privately developed objectives without being responsible to anybody but their own boards of directors.”

In early 2022, Lynas coauthored a paper in Taylor and Francis online journal, GM Crops and Food called, The state of the ‘GMO’ debate – toward an increasingly favorable and less polarized media conversation on ag-biotech? In the Disclosure Statement at the bottom of their paper, the authors stated there was, “No potential conflict of interest.” Yet in the funding statement they disclosed that The Cornell based Alliance for Science (where their research was conducted) was “funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.” Favourable media conversations are today massaged by big money. It is the greatest conspiracy in plain sight.

Former ABC science journalist, Maryanne Demasi, whose job was effectively rendered void after she reported negatively on Pfizer’s biggest drug revenue at the time, Lipitor, wrote this year a review of the evidence of harm caused by Pfizer’s Covid vaccine, called Serious adverse events from Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine are not “rare.” Regarding the often touted call that adverse events are rare, Demasi found, “there has been very little scrutiny of that claim by the media, and I could not find an instance where international agencies actually quantified what they meant by the term ‘rare’ or provided a scientific source.”

In her piece, Demasi cites a study in the journal Vaccine called Serious adverse events of special interest following mRNA COVID-19 vaccination in randomized trials in adults. The authors found that, “[t]he Pfizer trial exhibited a 36% higher risk of serious adverse events in vaccinated participants in comparison to placebo [unvaccinated] recipients.” Demasi recently published an article on two Pfizer executives’ intransigence to questions asked in the Australian parliament concerning vaccine transmission. They effectively ridiculed the democratic process, as well they might.

Gene therapy?

On the National Gene Technology Scheme webpage, the Australian government says Covid jabs, Moderna & Pfizer, are GMOs and they are gene therapies (accessed 16 August 2023). See image below. Yet, in a Guardian piece on podcaster Joe Rogan in early 2022, the global news outlet insinuated he was spreading misinformation about these jabs in August 2021 when he said, ‘mRNA vaccines are gene therapy.’ Actually, it looks clear 18 months later that The Guardian was spreading misinformation by creating an article that set out to smear Rogan from the headline – Joe Rogan’s Covid claims: what does the science actually say? Podcaster has made numerous disputed claims about virus, vaccines and lockdowns. It is little wonder why trust in podcasters like Rogan is surging and trust in legacy media like The Guardian is plummeting.

On their National Gene Technology Scheme webpage, the Australian government says Covid vaccines (Moderna & Pfizer) are GMOs and they are gene therapies. (Accessed 16 August 2023)

Independent Australian journalist, Rebekah Barnett, reported in her subscriber-funded Substack that, “[I]t is a serious criminal offence under the Gene Technology Act 2000 to sell or distribute GMO products in Australia without approval from the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR). However, Pfizer and Moderna only sought approvals for their Covid vaccine products from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), which is not authorised to approve GMO products in Australia.”

In her piece Barnett goes on to state that the Secretary of the Department of Health in Australia, Professor Brendan Murphy, denies Covid vaccines are gene therapies, yet the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator in the Department of Health and Aged Care states on its website that, “Several of the COVID-19 vaccines are either GMOs or made from GMOs.”

In Barnett’s article Professor Murphy addresses a letter from the Australian Medical Professionals Society (AMPS), “You have… incorrectly stated that mRNA vaccines are gene therapies – they are not under the legislative framework which governs the TGA and OGTR. mRNA vaccines do not enter the cell nucleus or interact with DNA and it is misleading to characterise them in this way.”

Well, this is confusing because on the Australian Government’s National Gene Technology Scheme’s (NGTS) website they write “[a]n example of GMOs as medicines is gene therapy, and they list as examples Pfizer’s and Moderna’s Covid products (see above image). Though, on the other hand, the Genomics Education Programme (GEP) in the UK, contradict the Australian Government’s OGTR and NGTS, arguing in 2021, when people were making up their minds about whether to take the Covid shots, published “Why mRNA vaccines aren’t gene therapies.” So, what’s the truth?

Contrary to Professor Murphy’s unsupported claim that mRNA vaccines do not enter the cell nucleus, a Swiss study, with no reported conflicts of interest, found that Pfizer’s vaccines indeed cross the cell line barrier. The authors state, “[o]ur study is the first in vitro study on the effect of [Pfizer’s] COVID-19 mRNA vaccine BNT162b2 on human liver cell line. We present evidence on fast entry of BNT162b2 into the cells and subsequent intracellular reverse transcription of BNT162b2 mRNA into DNA.” Bold type mine.

Discussing the claim that mRNA-based vaccines cannot alter genomes, Tomislav Domazet-Lošo from the Laboratory of Evolutionary Genetics, Division of Molecular Biology at the Ruđer Bošković Institute in Croatia, finds that the vaccine mRNA genome integration risk studies are “brief and surprisingly incomplete,” and “does not consider the accumulated knowledge on the biology of retroposition.” He states that this is “even more puzzling if one considers previous work on the molecular and evolutionary aspects of retroposition in murine and human populations that clearly documents the frequent integration of mRNA molecules into genomes, including clinical contexts.”

Most tellingly, in a speech by Bayer’s head of Pharmaceuticals at the World Health Summit in October 2021, Stefan Oelrich says, “…the mRNA vaccines are an example for… cell & gene therapy… If we had surveyed [populations and asked:] ‘would you be willing to take gene or cell therapy and inject it into your body?’ we would probably have had a 95% refusal rate.”

In a recent American Society of Gene + Cell Therapy report, the authors boast that, “[i]n the first quarter of 2023, an mRNA vaccine was approved for Covid-19 prophylaxis in China, bringing the number of RNA therapy approvals to 22.” From inside the gene and cell therapy industry in the US, it doesn’t appear anyone has a problem naming Covid mRNA vaccines as gene therapies. So why the contradictions? Is it related to Oelrich’s prediction that few would line up for them?

If you conduct an internet search for “why are people still suspicious of GMOs” the first several pages that appear are all those medias mentioned above that Bill Gates funds all apparently ‘debunking’ the concerns. This is not an accident, this is how Big Tech interacts with Big Ag and Big Pharma to massage the message.

In June this year, Hélène Banoun from the French Institute of Health and Medical Research, wrote in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, “[t]he mode of action of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines should classify them as gene therapy products (GTPs), but they have been excluded by regulatory agencies. Some of the tests they have undergone as vaccines have produced non-compliant results in terms of purity, quality and batch homogeneity. The wide and persistent biodistribution of mRNAs and their protein products, incompletely studied due to their classification as vaccines, raises safety issues.”

Stephanie Seneff, a Senior Research Scientist at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory – who Lynas has attacked as an anti-GMO/anti-vaxxer in one of his Gates-funded articles – draws on Pfizer’s own study to point out that their Covid injections, which don’t stop transmission, are in fact potentially biologically capable to spread transmission. She writes in the International Journal of Vaccine Theory, Practice, and Research:

“A Phase 1/2/3 study undertaken by BioNTech on the Pfizer mRNA vaccine implied in their study protocol that they anticipated the possibility of secondary exposure to the vaccine (BioNTech, 2020). The protocol included the requirement that ‘exposure during pregnancy’ should be reported by the study participants. They then gave examples of ‘environmental exposure during pregnancy’ which included exposure ‘to the study intervention [the vaccine] by inhalation or skin contact.’ They even suggested two levels of indirect exposure: ‘A male family member or healthcare provider who has been exposed to the study intervention [the vaccine] by inhalation or skin contact then exposes his [unvaccinated] female partner prior to or around the time of conception.’”

So who do we trust here? Lynas, who is writing from the perspective of big industries and funded by one of the biggest investors of vaccines in the world, Bill Gates? Or do we trust the interpretation of Pfizer’s own trial reports examined by a skeptic academic who has so much to loose by remaining a heterodox thinker? The weaponised term ‘anti-vaxxer’ is akin today to how the Howard-Blair-Bush Jr moment turned every Muslim on the planet into a terrorist. The media amplified it. People bought it. The US war industry flourished, again.

In a climate where heterodox thinking is being systemically eliminated, shunned, or demoted, and where even a vaccinologist – Flinders University Medical Centre director of endocrinology Nikolai Petrovsky – was sacked for refusing mRNA Covid vaccines, despite being vaccinated with his own protein-based jab he was developing for market.

An uncritical compliance to the pro Vax and pro GMO camps will lead to more suffering, othering and segregation.

Transmission and human rights

In November 2020 Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, speaking on Gates-funded PBS in the US, said that (at 12:55mins) “If you don’t vaccinate, you’re becoming the weak link that will help this deadly virus replicate.”

This comment and other misleading comments like it spawned the most horrendous hate speech against unvaccinated and vaccine-questioning people in 2021-2022 especially, but it continues today. It gave unbridled permission, said a human rights lawyer friend of mine, for people to become discriminatory.

Philosopher Noam Chomsky in October 2021, speaking on the left-leaning Primo Radical YouTube channel, equated people not stopping at a red traffic light as the same selfish people who refuse the novel Covid injections. He said, (at 4:29mins) “If you want to feel free to kill others, go somewhere else.” The journalist then stated that Covid could still be spread by vaccinated people, to which Chomsky confidently stated, (at 4:46mins) “sorry, the probability is extremely low.” He went on to say the unvaccinated, (at 9:00mins) “should have the decency to remove themselves from the community, if they refuse to do that then measures have to be taken…”

Here in the corporate state of Victoria the unvaccinated were removed from the community. In the Hepburn shire, where I live, unvaccinated people were prohibited from entering municipal places (libraries, town halls and swimming pools) and barred from cafés and restaurants, and many other places and events.

In late 2022, a Reuters fact-check concerning the question of transmission of Pfizer’s GMO Covid injection, confirmed that “the Pfizer executive [Janine Small, President of Developed Markets, Pfizer] accurately states that studies of the vaccine’s effect on virus transmission from person to person were not performed during the original clinical trials of the company’s vaccine.” The Fact-check continues:

“A Pfizer spokesperson confirmed to Reuters Fact Check that the company was not asked by regulators to assess the transmission question in the original trials of the vaccine (known as BNT162b2 while in development and later marketed as Comirnaty).” This raises questions about government’s regulatory offices and their influencers insistent on mandates and promoting discriminatory behaviours.

So, with what authority was Chomsky speaking? The human rights that were subjugated for a vaccine that may have provided some fleeting personal but little community benefit, is now important to understand to prevent these kinds of violations occurring again.

So, what now?

Did Bill Gates let the cat out of the bag at The Munich Security Conference in February 2022, when he said (at 7:07mins), “[t]he virus itself… is a type of vaccine, that is it creates both B-cell and T-cell immunity, and it’s done a better job getting out to the world’s population than we have with vaccines.”? Isn’t that just what people call natural immunity, Bill?

Before Covid the accepted response to pandemics had been, more or less, allow healthy normals to build herd immunity naturally while focus the protection on vulnerable populations. Senior scientists who stood by this were ridiculed, labelled and shouted down by those pushing for mass vaccination, and scientific attacks on natural immunity fired up just as the rollouts began, amplifying public fear ostensibly to push mandates and thus sell more shots.

Our family contracted Covid once in the past three years. We are fully unvaccinated, yet all around us people who have received three or more shots have contracted the virus many times. In the ABC article, Ten positive tests and counting: The mystery of why some people just keep catching COVID, the Australian government reporter, without irony, sets out to give comfort to those who are still investing in the government’s public relations exercise. As one meme recently said, if after three years you are not suspicious...

For many people across the political spectrum, trust in large pharmaceutical corporations, public health institutions and establishment medias has been severely broken. People did not give their consent to GMO Covid vaccines, which led the CDC to change its definition of what a vaccine is. No longer does a vaccine have to offer ‘immunity’ but merely stimulate an ‘immune response,’ which could be read as either positive or negative, supposedly. Most did not give their consent to receive a gene therapy treatment or, going further back, did not give their consent for GMO crops to infiltrate their environments, contaminate their food and produce super weeds and mutant crops.

We don’t know what the effects of GMO pharmaceuticals will do in the body, across bodies or in the environment over time, and I’m not confident there’s an independent scientific environment resourced enough to find out. Such is the reality of the corporatised state. The precautionary principle has been in erosion for decades, but Covid took it to another level.

In an era where many once reputable media outlets have been manipulated by outside funding operatives tethered to industry and/or questionable ‘philanthropic’ organisations, confidence in new scientific tools is increasingly less about real world research and more about appearances, data manipulation and spin doctoring. This is not a new thing but rather an old thing on super steroids. As a result the world’s populations, human and much more so, are facing a likely oversupply and overprescription of GMOs in many forms.

Leftists and liberal progressives, who before 2011 were generally those leading the critique against GMOs and Pharma intransigence, would be well advised to return their criticality to the subject of GMOs in both food and pharmaceuticals, and address the real world threats of them by first examining what really took place over the past three years, and examine who is behind the media they are supposedly being informed by.

The pressing question is ‘do we trust big money in science?’ The evidence for doing so doesn’t seem very strong. And given the Australian Government has drafted a misinformation and disinformation bill without first addressing its own contradictory, incorrect and at times totalitarian messaging over the last three years, this likely signals more draconian and discriminatory measures are on their way. Now, more than ever, we need to be vigilant about the corporate state that won’t regulate itself.

Over to you, Dear Readers.


Dr Patrick Jones’ critical work spans the ecological humanities. His poetry has been widely anthologised, recently in Groundswell, The Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize for New and Emerging Poets 2007-2020, and his critical-collaborative work with Artist as Family was featured as a chapter in the newly published Artists and the Practice of Agriculture (Routledge 2023). He continues to argue that the arts is where broad-ranging societal critique is at its strongest, integrating cosmological, psychosocial, scientific, ethic, cultural and human complexes. He also argues that the deliberate erosion of the arts in the neoliberal universities is a strategy to silence dissent and kill off the heterodoxy in the culture.


  1. Rebekah says:

    Great read, thank you. It’s a shame no one thought to archive the WHO page before it was disappeared (I checked, it’s not archived).

    1. Thanks Rebekah, after a review and feedback process of this piece here we’d like to make it into a video detailing all the links so as they are archived. Thanks for checking if the WHO link was archived, did you check with Wayback machine?

  2. Thanks for sharing this with me,

    And well done for all of the effort that no doubt went into penning it.

    Though I don’t follow this issue as closely as I might, what you have written is consistent with all that I hear from Lisa and all of her friends and others that she communicates with daily, and is of course closely aligned with what I would now describe as a ‘mRNA/GMO pathology’ that is mirrored in agriculture or ‘pharming’.

    In the agriculture and livestock processing sector I have continued to see the seeding of tid bits of policy and market announcements which strongly suggest a next and more insidious wave of mRNA-based ‘treatments’ which will be mandated in the food and agriculture sector. This resembles the seeding of warnings of coming disease and pest outbreaks that have coincided with the availability of pharmaceutical treatments well ahead of the disease or pest outbreak’s appearance in that market. Its got to the point where it has become a trope.

    I have been doing a bit of seeding myself amongst the Regrarians Workplace (a private professional development network made up of ‘regenerative agriculture’ practitioners) to generate an open and unbiased dialogue within the scope of risk management. Its resonated with those who have and hadn’t undertaken the human mRNA trials alike – what’s been particularly interesting has been when the impacts on the marketing of a product are the primary trigger for concern, rather than livestock health or indeed human health more directly.

    Thanks again for sharing this with me and for doing the work!



  3. Thanks Darren, really great to get this perspective from you. Farmers have written to us over the past few years with fears about possible mRNA contamination in stock. Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) is currently funding mRNA research so as livestock ‘vaccines’ can, no doubt, “move at the speed of science,” when there’s an outbreak. The potential for widespread escape, spill or mutation looms large with this mindset, across both public health and agricultural spaces. It is more subjugation of the commons for the pursuit of money.

  4. Kate Beveridge says:

    Thanks again Patrick for sharing all your research. It all sounds plausible to me and fits with my intuitive thoughts on the matter. All of great concern.

    1. Thanks Kate, hope all is well on the farm.

      1. Kate Beveridge says:

        We are all well here on the farm thanks. So much about this topic is going around in my head. I sometimes find it so overwhelming but appreciate your continued bringing all the pieces together.

  5. Patrick,
    A great effort to document the radically changed context for the resistance to, and/or acceptance of GMOs by organic, regen. ag and permaculture practitioners, educators and activist following Covid and responses focused on mRNA technology in the human health domain. I trust your scholarship and open invitation for corrections and other sources to balance your reporting of the situations will be taken seriously by key people across the broad church of sustainable and regenerative agriculture before we end up in another global emergency leading to “monocultures of the mind” solutions and the inevitable fracturing of our networks.

    The rush toward “GMO everything” is just one part of the corporatist response to the challenge and opportunities for agriculture in the rapidly changing global context that includes the dumping of UN agency commitment to agroecology as a foundation for the future of agriculture in favour of high tech intensive solutions delivered by the global corporations.

    Lack of resistance if not open advocacy to GMOs in sustainable and regenerative agriculture would be as emblematic in the long lineage of our movements as the eco-modernist advocacy for nuclear power as a key “solution” in the transition away from fossil fuels.

    In writing about GMOs in relation to the permaculture principle “Creatively Use and Respond To Change” (Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability 2002) I suggested the downside of resources wasted on GMO technology that failed to fulfil promises, might be more of an issue than the fear of runaway damage to nature and humanity, a theme I returned to in my recent story, Genetically Engineered Armageddon: a tale of two realities that blends historical fact with speculative interpretation of current events and near futures; a completely different approach to your measured and well referenced research.

    Beyond a hopeful complementarity between our very different efforts around the GMO issue, I think there is a risk that the divides in our networks could reinforce very different responses. For those who see the Covid mRNA “vaccines” as, at the very least, failed and faulty technology that has caused great harm, the spread of the equivalent through the centralised regulated food system, will be a boot in the backside to get localised and unregulated food production working in whatever ways are possible. On the other hand for those who continue to see the Covid “vaccines” as having substantially ameliorated what might have otherwise been catastrophic, with modest adverse consequences, the effect could be the opposite. Acceptance that the “vaccines” were in fact GMO’s, could lead to a belief that the long articulated risks of GMOs in agriculture and food might have been overstated by opponents and that GMOs might be necessary in a world of climate chaos, or at least, not worth resisting.

    Resistance to GMO’s whether in our bodies or that of our livestock and crops might gather a greater consensus of support in our networks by focusing on the evidence that we are dealing with dud technologies pushed by con men from corporations trusting that disaster capitalism will keep their show on the road, at least to next year, rather than treating these products as all powerful magic created by emergent masters of the universe whether benign or evil. Whatever the case, I think your essay lays the ground work for a possible consensus that the mRNA technology is the sharp end of GMO “solutions” to every novel biological threat, whether real or concocted. That would be a step forward.


    1. Thank you David, I have just listened to your critical-creative piece, Genetically Engineered Armageddon: a tale of two realities. Thank you for bringing this here for readers to access, too. It is indeed a complimentary, broad-ranging work to accompany mine.

      Your piece reminded me of the early conversations I had with many in 2020 when there was talk of Pfizer and Astra-Zeneca vaccines in production, and I said to numerous colleagues “we have to be very skeptical of these companies as we would be with Monsanto and Bayer claiming they have the global solution.” Three years later, and much investigative research under the bridge – remember when people were ridiculed between 2020-2022 for doing their ‘own research’ instead of ‘trusting the science’? – I feel I have compiled a significant wave of evidence to back up my then strong intuition. I am so thankful I employed the precautionary principle.

      I sincerely hope this piece can break down the walls of the many echo chambers constructed over the past few years, and contribute to making a return to old school debate and respectful argument in order to find, if not consensus, then at least not reductionist shame labels for how someone is reading the current moment. There are only a few relationships I’m not interested in mending from this time, that is those in our networks who were the loudest and most influencing champions for Pharma, and are still part of that cult. Luckily only a few come to mind. I think most people are opening (or have long been open) to the reality that the messaging was chronically massaged, and our focus should be on that as a collective front.

      Trusting the science is holding trust for state-corporatism and therefore for the state-Pharma nexus, which is (to call on Vandana Shiva) a very narrow patriarchal project. Trusting ourselves and not the nudge units’ manipulative messaging going forward will weaken the power hold state-corporatism has over peoples’ lives. Fighting for liberty is not a far right-wing thing as some strangely argued in 2021, it’s a basic human right. Just as a communitarian approach is not a top-down, power-over strategy, but something decided by communities without violence, respecting a diversity of approaches to create a response in which everyone is respected.


  6. In case you haven’t seen Jon Stewart’s bit about the lab leak (from 15 Jun 2021), it is quite good.

    1. Oh that’s funny, Sambodhi. Somehow we missed this. I concur with the first comment, “It never ceases to amaze me that this footage actually made it to a public audience.” Thank you. P

  7. Lesley Wills says:

    I have read your piece and though I do not live in your country we have a similar situation here in the UK. I live and work on an organic biodynamic farm, mainly dairy plus supplying veg boxes along with other and produce. We have a strong and growing community of supporters in our town and I feel it is that willingness to help our farm and support our vision that will allow us to adapt in these changing times . Our farm community like others did not take up the covid support….now we welcome and are welcoming people who now see the folly of it all and even though some have taken the vac now would not.
    I am now embracing, focusing on working with people teaching the new biology that has growing numbers in America and here in the UK. Terrain theory as opposed to germ will help people understand that people care starts with them and lift the fear that can entrap them.
    We live in changing times and the edge is were the solution lies, A meeting of souls that choose not too take sides but discover collaboration as a possible way forward.

    1. Thanks Lesley, yes this piece is quite Australia-specific but then again fairly universal especially relating to the Five Eyes colonial governments – US, UK, AUS, NZ & CAN – who all have their various agencies spying on each other’s populations in order to avoid the illegality of doing so, and who all treated their populations abominably throughout the Covid moment. Glad to hear another farmer here who is across this GMO moment in food and medicine. We’re hoping for younger farmers, growers and permies to come into this space too. I think David Holmgren’s comment here about the potential for this issue to become like the ‘renewables’ industry, which is today highjacked by big industries, is more than plausible. Renewables are no longer a pathway to powering down and degrowing consumption, but rather it has become an industry focussed on maintaining current levels of fossil energy, thus current levels of consumption. Awareness of the gaming and capture of all beautiful things requires a continual checking in with how we each contribute to the narratives that fuel power into big money and strengthen the state-corporate nexus more broadly. Great to hear of the positive work you and your community are doing across the waters. All power to you all.

  8. Jem Bendell says:

    I really appreciate the depth, evidence, and conciseness of your essay. I also sensed great emotional labour at the start to invite people to engage with this beyond their prejudices. I became convinced a few years ago that it is important for the environmental movement to resist its capture by corporate interests and authoritarians. Otherwise, we will see more inappropriate policies pursued, a backlash generated, and needed policies sidelined. This is one reason why I was so troubled by the corporate-friendly authoritarian conformism of nearly all spokespersons/leaders within most strands of the Western environmental movement and profession over the last three years.

    Apart from myself, Kingsnorth and Eisenstein, I don’t recall any green commentator speaking out in 2021. I realise that might be because their communications were hidden from me by a combination of mass media and bigtech. For instance, even friends and colleagues of mine, who are contacts on my social media, have only recently learned that I had been criticising the Covid orthodoxy since October 2021 and promoting what I consider to be a more citizen-led response.

    To this day, I am still condemned on social media by fellow greens and some deep adaptation folks, who remain blindly confident in so many of their false assumptions. Those include: that the MRnA jabs are entirely safe and effective, that the paper or cloth masks worked, that lockdowns were proportionate and curbed the spread, that alternative meds and treatments didn’t help at all (despite stacks of evidence they do, as well as their use by many governments in the Majority World), that draconian vax mandates were justified, that global censorship of top docs was justified, and that the experience of Africa (which fared the best) is irrelevant to learn from. They ignore the massive damage to public health from the orthodox agenda. That damage arises due to the obviously ineffective response to Covid, the known-about vax injuries, the marginalising of the trial of other approaches, as well as the damage to incomes and health of 10s of millions of people from ineffective policies. That is even before we consider recent worrying data on potential long term health implications of the MRnA jabs. This is all based on information that can be found in peer reviewed scientific journals.

    By ignoring all of the information on these issues that should at least provide reason for a pause and some investigation, could it be that some people are now resembling the hysterical religious nuts who pursue (or agree with) violence against unbelievers? Or at least their ex-communication (i.e. cancel culture)! I wonder, as these people appear to me to be more panicked by the threat to their identity as superior moral beings than they are concerned with reality and other people. So, although it is painful to see their self-righteous misinformation, and sometimes outright defamation of me or others, I interpret this as them not being in the right state of mind to think laterally. Instead, I am more disappointed with the people who were/are not stuck in any kind of psychosis, and yet did nothing. Some even then feel negative about me for arguing back when I am criticised in public, as it is seen as ‘unkind.’ I am thinking here of the celebrities I know who agreed with me, encouraged me, and did nothing. And my former friends at the WHO, who agreed with me on most things, and then decided to keep their heads down at work to collect their massive tax-free salaries (yes, they even said that was their decision). And people in various deep adaptation networks who agreed with me that things needed to be discussed openly, but did nothing to stop the vilification of me (and people like me), sometimes publicly distanced themselves from me, and also did nothing to promote more considered dialogue. These are the people who, in a crisis that was harming huge numbers, damaging societies, and potentially has caused massive future suffering as well, appear to have chosen to put their emotional ease ahead of their defence of truth and humanity. That kind of cowardly bystanding is what will allow an authoritarian dystopia to emerge during an era of societal disruption and collapse. That is why I explain in Chapter 13 of my book Breaking Together that there are things we can resist, as much as things we can build ourselves (which is in Chapter 12 on the ‘doomster way’). To this day, I have only received one apology from someone for their private disdain at my stance (which I didn’t even know about). There is still far for people to travel to truly find and live by their own loving responses to the predicament of societal collapse. I am no saint, but at least I didn’t partake in something with such massive and ongoing collateral damage.
    You can see my essays on the topic of covid here:

    1. Thanks Jem, appreciate what you bring here. We were certainly speaking out in 2021. We referenced your Damn lies piece in our video, Fact check: Covid vaccines reduce hospitalisations, in Jan 2022, as one in a series of looking behind the established narrative. We also did a vid on Indigenous v Industrial Covid, comparing Africa’s Madagascar to Australia in Oct 2021. Thanks for your courage and strength to go against the grain.

  9. Sebastian says:

    Great work, Patrick. Here on the other side of the world I can tell you that the same issue is being raised as to vaccination of animals against new «viral pandemics». The pharmaceutical complex had the need to accelerate its business cycle and increase profits, mRNA tech and GMOs seem to be cheaper to produce and market and trigger side effects that increase demand for more pharma/agri products.
    These profit driven vultures found an invaluable ally in the deep state, desperate to increase its money supply and control in the face of an imminent financial meltdown and serious societal risks triggered by dwindling expectations of material advancement.
    The system we live in is terminally broken, its resource base is eroding quickly in all the vital minerals needed to keep it alive and as a result it has no way out, that is why I sense and think it is going crazier by the minute. Covid and this push in the food sector now along with all the narratives they are pushing are a desperate attempt to remain unchallenged before it collapses.

    Kind Regards,


    1. Thanks for your perspective from France, Sebastian.

      It seems like most in Australia (and perhaps this could be said more broadly) have stopped taking the shots, though many are still very quiet on the fact they are no longer following the official advice: Trust The Science; stay on the train of endless boosters!

      So we’re now caught in a social paradox where saving face (rather than truth telling) means there’s little accountability of the abuse of power that took place.

      Those in positions of power, who promulgated the Covid narrative – especially: people will die if we don’t all step in line, switch off our critical faculties, trust science and roll up our sleeves – point the finger at marginalised, mostly working class and poorer nations folk who have rightly turned away from msm, government, Pharma or health officials, due in large part lacking trust in these institutions.

      These folk are labelled irrelevant and stupid at best, far-right conspiracists at worst, as we have been too (albeit once proud members of the green left – who to us are now unrecognisable) for not going along with the state/Pharma programme.

      While McKinsey and Gates, Bourla and Schwab drive the ‘progress’ programme, the world’s populations will continually come up against state violence, be it discriminatory rhetoric by politicians, armed police thugs beating, LRADing or shooting at protestors, and every court journalist’s dutiful reportage of state/Pharma media releases, in between.

      We agree with you that the insanity is escalating as global neoliberal civilisation pathologically lies itself into death. It’s just difficult witnessing and feeling the fallout of this death-drive-in-denial. The unnecessary suffering of those who didn’t give permission for the US and China (and Australia and others) to do dodgy GMO research with bat viruses; they did not ask for GMO treatments in a syringe labelled ‘vaccine sacred cow’, where the vaccine definition had to be changed from ‘producing immunity to a disease’ pre-Covid, to the weasel words of merely ‘producing an immune response’. Are all the hundreds of mRNA adverse events reported in Pfizer’s trial data considered ‘immune responses’?

      The madness of the moment. Good to hear from you. We’d love an update on how France’s farmers are resisting the toxic ‘reset’. Bon soir

  10. Josh says:

    Finally cleared some space to work my way through this Patrick. As I’m reading, this recent article in Quillette came to mind, and then I realised that it was published after your post. I think it’s relevant to what you’re working through here, but at this point I also think I’ve come round to the case that fomenting the argument over origin may have been a very effective ploy to divert attention from the question that mattered: what is the pandemic potential for coronaviruses?

    1. Thanks for sending this article, Josh. It is conspicuous the Quillette journalist doesn’t include the statement from Peter Daszak describing gain-of-function research his “colleagues” in China were conducting in 2016 (1:16:45 – 1:17:35) This was published by C-Span in February 2016, and Daszak later says, responding to a question from an audience member, that unless scientists work on prevention we will have a global pandemic.

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