Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) recently made a startling discovery that should worry all American citizens: the U.S. government is funding research into something called “transgenic edible vaccines,” which could have come straight out of a science fiction novel. This alarming issue is happening right before our eyes and needs to be addressed immediately.
In 2021, it was reported that scientists at the University of California, Riverside have been researching this technology in order to produce edible vaccines.
According to the press release published by the University of California, the project aims to utilize mRNA technology, similar to that used in COVID-19 vaccines, to turn edible plants into vaccine factories.
The research is funded by a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation and has three primary goals:
- To successfully deliver DNA containing the mRNA vaccines into plant cells where it will replicate.
- To demonstrate that plants can produce enough mRNA to rival a traditional vaccine shot.
- To determine the right dosage of the vaccine.
Juan Pablo Giraldo, an associate professor at UCR, is leading the research. He envisions a future where people could grow these transgenic plants in their gardens, and farmers could cultivate entire fields of them.
“Ideally, a single plant would produce enough mRNA to vaccinate a single person,” said Juan Pablo Giraldo.
“We are testing this approach with spinach and lettuce and have long-term goals of people growing it in their own gardens,” Giraldo said. “Farmers could also eventually grow entire fields of it.”
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Effectively delivering the genetic material to a plant’s chloroplast, small organs in plant cells that convert sunlight into energy the plant can use, is critical to rolling out the vaccinated food.
“[Chloroplasts are] tiny, solar-powered factories that produce sugar and other molecules which allow the plant to grow,” Giraldo said. “They’re also an untapped source for making desirable molecules.”
The research involves altering the genetic makeup of plants, which could have unforeseen consequences. Genetically modifying edible plants with experimental vaccines for public consumption is the culmination of a dream, the associate professor explained.
“One of the reasons I started working in nanotechnology was so I could apply it to plants…