The Safe Food Foundation & Institute commissioned scientific experts Dr Jack Heinemann from the University of Canterbury and Dr Judy Carman from Flinders University to give their expert scientific opinions on CSIRO’s genetically modified wheat. Both Dr Heinemann and Dr Carman indicated that they believe there are major gaps in CSIRO’s risk assessment testing leading to potential life-threatening consequences.
(1) There are extensive similarities between the plant SEI gene and the human GBE gene. The bioinformatics analysis cannot rule out unintended cross reactivity between siRNAs, designed to silence SEI, and GBE.
(2) There are extensive similarities between SEI (including its introns) and other genes in the human genome. The bioinformatic analysis cannot rule out unintended cross reactivity between siRNAs, designed to silence SEI, and other genes.
(3) In plants, siRNAs can be systemically transmitted. It would not be possible without experimental confirmation to ensure the absence of the siRNAs in tissue other than endosperm.
(4) An RNAi effect can result in the generation of unintended secondary siRNAs. These may extend the potential for unintended cross reactivity with GBE or other human genes.
Jack A. Heinemann