Do mRNA Vaccines Really Contain Dangerous GMOs? What Science Says

Shin
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In November 2023, Gentry Gevers, a notable podcast figure, amplified a claim indicating that the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines contain unauthorized genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and could potentially alter human DNA.

The claim reads, “Australian GP sues Pfizer and Moderna over unapproved GMOs in mRNA Covid vaccines," which was made by a journalist known for propagating misinformation such as ivermectin being the cure for COVID-19 and vaccines being deadly.

Indeed, a deeper dive into the science reveals a different story.

Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration and the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator have clarified that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines do not meet the definition of GMOs under the Gene Technology Act 2000.

“COVID-19 mRNA vaccines do not meet the definition of a GMO in the Gene Technology Act 2000 so do not require a licence from the Gene Technology Regulator," stated a spokesperson from the Australian Office of the Gene Technology Regulator. "The vaccines do not contain a GMO.”

This clarification dispels the notion that these vaccines contain or constitute GMOs. It's crucial to understand that unlike the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, which does employ a GMO in its design, mRNA vaccines do not contain any organisms, modified or otherwise.

The creation of mRNA vaccines uses techniques similar to those used in producing recombinant human insulin. This process involves inserting genetic material into bacteria like E. coli, which then produces large quantities of the desired product - in this case, the mRNA encoding for the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. While minute traces of DNA may remain in the vaccine, rigorous regulatory standards ensure that these levels are well within safe limits.

Contrary to the alarming assertions by anti-vaccine activists, there is no credible evidence to support the idea that mRNA from COVID-19 vaccines can integrate into human DNA. Allegations based on studies that suggest such integration are either misinterpreted or taken out of context.

For instance, a study by Alden et al. at Lund University, often cited in these claims, used an artificial experimental system involving liver cancer cell lines, which tend to overproduce an enzyme used for reverse transcription (making DNA from RNA) compared to normal cells. Alden et al. also used much higher doses of vaccine in the experiment than the dose administered to humans.

Moreover, the notion that residual DNA in vaccines poses a health risk is unfounded. The human body has robust mechanisms to detect and destroy foreign DNA, and the presence of such material in vaccines does not equate to a risk of genetic integration or cancer development. This is exemplified by the safe and effective use of other DNA-containing vaccines, like those for chickenpox.

In summary, the fears surrounding the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and their alleged contamination with GMOs and potential to modify human DNA are baseless and deliberate attempts to spread misinformation.


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