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The Produce We Pick up in the Supermarket Has Developed Genetic Traits

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola

What was once considered a conspiracy theory has now come true in the world of science: The produce we pick up in the supermarket has developed genetic traits linked to antibiotic resistance. Earth.com reports that researchers found that produce can be “a reservoir for transferable resistance traits that go undetected when using DNA-based screening tools.”

In plain language, this means bacteria have become antibiotic-resistant through both viruses and genetic mutations through DNA in their environment.

This is a warning to the DNA-tinkering world that bears repeating, and loudly. While we’ve been told from the very beginning that genetically-engineering plants couldn’t possibly do harm, here we are, learning that, indeed, DNA likes to do its own thing, despite what we humans think we know.

And, if you think that it’s only plants with changing genetic traits, think again: We are also seeing signs that the human genome can be influenced by the nutrients you consume. In other words, if we are eating antibiotic-resistant produce, we may be acquiring the same traits through our own DNA.

This is because, while your genome or assembly of your DNA, doesn’t change, we now know that your epigenome DOES change, in response to a variety of factors, not the least of which is your diet. The fact is, the genes in virtually all your cells may be influenced by the nutrients available to them, and now that we know that the produce you consume may be contributing to worldwide antibiotic resistance, I believe it’s time for us to stop and reconsider what we’re doing with genetic engineering, especially when it comes to CRSPR gene editing.

CRISPR is the acronym for clustered regularly interspaced short palindrome repeat, and even though this form of gene-editing has demonstrated serious problems, scientists are determined to charge ahead with it. For example, two recent studies warn this process can trigger cancer — certainly a side effect that should make you stop and think.

Other unintended consequences have been found in connection with this editing technology, too, including the discovery that it can both inadvertently activate genes you don’t want turned on, and completely delete others that you may want turned on.

When it comes to antibiotic resistance, this is a serious topic that should be addressed immediately, as we also now know that Cas9, a bacteria enzyme that acts as the "scissors" in CRISPR, actually remains in your body for a period of hours to weeks.

In the lab, it’s been found that even after the initial DNA segment had been cut out and a new section "pasted" into the gap to repair it, Cas9 continued to make cuts into the DNA. While there are many variables to this technology, I repeat, I believe we should perhaps take a step back while we learn about what all the long-term effects of this gene editing are. There are many opportunities for advancement to be had, but they must come with the understanding that unintended mutations with potentially irreversible effects — such as antibiotic resistance — could be part of the package.

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