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A selection of our writings from 2009 to the present. If you'd like to keep up to date with our latest posts, please subscribe below.

Towards a microbiome approach to culture and economy (or, Re-dreaming a gender-distributed science) with Gemma Smithson

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Hello dear Subscribers and other curious visitors,

Over the past week we’ve hosted three new volunteers at the School of Applied Neopeasantry, who have been learning-helping with the harvesting and storing of this warm season’s abundance. We’ve been harvesting and preserving summer crops and also prepping soils to plant winter crops while there’s still heat in the giving earth, here in Djaara Mother Country.

While we’ve been working hard – doing-saying, lifemaking, neopeasanting, demonstrating the possibilities of living a low-impact ecological-economy – Tully, Anisa, Gemma, and we mob have also engaged in many conversations.

On Gemma’s last day, she asked whether she could record Patrick for a university assignment. Gemma is studying environmental science and has, true to her openness and curiosity, organised two radically different placements for her summer work experience – with Artist as Family and with Parks Victoria. Go Gemma!

We have edited this little interview, recorded on Gemma’s phone in the garden at Tree Elbow, into a twelve minute excerpt, and we’re sharing it as a way of giving an insight into some of the subjects/conversations we have with volunteer-students at the school, this time occurring at the end of a neopeasant lunch, just before we all headed off for siesta.

We hope you enjoy this little moment (12min listen) with Gemma, pictured here with Meg and Patrick.

As always, your input, questions and comments are valuable to our readers and to us, so please feel free to offer up what’s living in you after listening in. Also, we have a place available next month if you’re interested in volunteering and learning with us. Head here for more details and please get in touch if you’re keen to join us.

Hot chips & cigarettes (or, how government regulators fail us, again and again)

A post by Dr Patrick Jones, audio version (approx. 5mins)

 

There’s a common argument in polite Australia that goes something like this, ‘Governments regulate industry and all is well in the world. We don’t need to watch corporate activity, our regulators have that all covered.’ But is this assumption naive and hazardous to our health?

I accompanied Blackwood and some friends to watch the cricket at the MCG last week. The advertising at the ground that bombarded us throughout the day included fast food, alcohol, gambling, and microbe extermination products. You can see this for yourself if you watch the highlights.

During the day, Blackwood, now a confirmed cricket tragic like his dad, was kindly offered a bucket of hot chips, and I agreed to let him have it. Although cigarette companies are banned from sports advertising (which took decades of activism including Australia’s own unique chapter, BUGAUP), this week I discovered that this small bucket of chips that Blackwood consumed may have had the same level of toxins as him smoking a bunch of cigarettes.

I’ve been invited to write a paper on environmental poisons for an Italian academic journal, which is providing an opportunity to update my research regarding environmental pollutants and toxins in both bodies and biomes. So, I thought I’d use this period (over the next several months) to share snippets of my research and publish interesting morsels here for readers.

This week I’m taking a look at the humble potato chip (or French fry, if you’re from the US), from the vantage point of a 2018 study on fried food toxins.

Our taste receptors are excited by salty and fatty foods. The fast food industry exploits our weak spot for such nutrients or chemical compounds, which were not so prevalent as we evolved into a species with unique human taste abilities.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, I’m probably not telling you anything new. However, if you’ve been looking for research to back up your hunch that fried hot chips are likely very toxic in the body, then please read on.

Our family has been avoiding hot chips bought at a store for many years now, preferring to grow our own spuds and animal fats organically and cooking them at home. But, every now and then (like at the cricket) we soften our stance and indulge. Is this such a stupid thing to do?

A study entitled, Chronic non-communicable disease risks presented by lipid oxidation products in fried foods (2018), although limited in its frame of reference – i.e. it would have been more useful to switch butter for ghee, and add animal fats as part of the trial – it is nonetheless a good indicator of what we have suspected, intuitively for some time, that is – if you are buying hot chips from fast food outlets, perhaps don’t.

The study finds that in a “154g potato chip serving [the] aldehyde contents are not dissimilar to those arising from the smoking of a (daily) allocation of 25 tobacco cigarettes…”

That there exists cell-damaging, carcinogenic aldehyde toxins in supposedly benign foods like fried potato chips is yet another example of government regulation not serving people, but rather serving the profit interests of industry foremost, while simultaneously eroding human health.

Of course anyone paying attention knows governments and industry now sleep in the same bed, and as we saw so outstandingly with the Covid response, there is no longer even a covering up of their flagrant lovemaking.

To have fried foods duly regulated by government oversight is never going to occur within a political system that has been captured by every large industry across the globe. Such oversight can only come from individuals, households and communities getting informed from sources they can trust, and acting on what they find out.

But if we cannot trust, or haven’t got the time to research the things we consume, then living by a simple precautionary principle, like ‘if it’s fast it’s probably toxic,’ is going to serve us well, and keep us from the ever grubby hands of the pharmaceutical or illness industry.

Your comments, research and experiences with environmental toxins that have been enabled by falsely regulated industries and corporatised journalism, are most welcome here.

And lastly if you’d like to listen to a couple of sweet evolutionary biologists discussing the scientific paper mentioned in this piece, head here.

(The citation for the paper referenced is: Grootveld M, Percival BC, Grootveld KL. Chronic non-communicable disease risks presented by lipid oxidation products in fried foods. HepatoBiliary Surg Nutr 2018;7(4):305-312. doi: 10.21037/hbsn.2018.04.01)C

I’m closing out this post with a peg of Blackwood harvesting spuds in our home garden last year. Growing our own food is always the best medicine, and it means that low-income households like ours can afford organically grown food that is non-reliant upon the vulgar boudoir of the state-corporate nexus.

I am frightened by the culture I was born into (a list poem)

This week we examine our fear, Patrick writes a poem on the subject, and we listen to an elder from the past on the nature of fear, which we offer as critical listening for this present moment and immanent future.

Here’s the audio of Patrick’s poem, I am frightened by the culture I was born into (5 min listen). The text of which (with links) is below:

 

I am frightened by the culture I was born into

Yeah well my phone’s fucked and they won’t give me a new sim until I get vaxxed so I gave in, just got the first shot. I need the phone to log onto my computer for work. Work also breathing down my neck with a deadline of the 17th for declaring my ‘status’. So whatever. I hope the bastard thing kills me. (Melbourne academic, email to Patrick Jones, 1 December 2021)

I am frightened by the culture I was born into. I am scared of scientific reductionism. I fear the aggregation of poisons from industry and the increasing intransigence to heterodox thinkers by governments and universities. I am worried by what the expert class brings to Country. It distresses me few read global development as an extension of colonialism, and in its currency colonialism is again unseen by mob morality.

I feel ill the educated are uncritical of the State-Pharma nexus. I fear the results when doctors and researchers who raise red flags are demoted, disappeared and censored. I’m terrified by the many who don’t question and who in their shame attack the other others. I’m sickened by the profits of patriarchal medicine and how this profit blooms in biomes and inflames bodies. It distresses me medical journals have become “information laundering operations for the pharmaceutical industry.” My gut turns with the lack of consent. Communitarian is bottom up, grassroots consensus not powering over the other from above. I’m dismayed by friends who, having been coerced – having to feed their families – now turn on me parroting, ‘White-supremacist! Conspiracy theorist! Anti-vaxxer!’

Even if I refuse directly what industry brings to Country, the rush now on gene engineering and editing means my family and community are likely not free from the spillovers, mutations and contaminants. Antidepressants are awash in the riparians of Country. Nanoplastics in every cell, every biota, and thus in our food, our bodies. Body and food sovereignty is dying, and how I’m reading it, the single greatest threat to life is the romanticisation of progress leading us all into digital prisons cheered on by the movement I’ve served my whole adult life – the Green-Left – until now. Diversity at all costs, except for Them, the deplorable contagions!

I’m scared that people like us, who will again refuse the coming assault of biotechs, will be further discriminated against. I’m alarmed and shocked at how few want to examine the coercion, intolerance and abuse of the past few years. I’m predicting a future of incarceration for those who resist Pharmacolonisation, and I feel no hope for a society that’s constructed “man-made mass death” as its modus operandi, and this fear is traumatising to me.

I will continue to serve the worlds of the world, and serve the communities of life who stand for life, and in doing so stand against the cult of Scientism, against “patriarchy’s project”. In this continuum of service I will name my fears alongside my shame and grief, and cry out my sacred, old briney waters into the rich, life-bringing humus of Mother Country, for anyone or anything connected to hear. I won’t wield my sword in war-like reaction, even in chains I will dance with it like my old people before me.


 

We’d like to add to this post a little zooming out. Here is the wisdom of Krishnamurti on the subject of fear, and the possibility of ending it (25 mins):

Your thoughts and feelings at this time are precious to us. What are your current fears? What processes do you employ to face them? And anything related, or not, is most welcome.

Sending spring renewal and warmth to you, or autumnal abundance (if you’re north), Dear Reader.

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.

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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.