The New Zealand government is introducing the Therapeutic Products Bill, which is an omnibus piece of legislation controlling, among many other things, the availability of Natural Health Products and the introduction of biotech medical interventions. Given our experience of the last three pandemic years, we should be doubting the capacity of governments to protect our interests. Let’s look at what is already happening:
Do we really need legislation facilitating the further implementation of biotechnology in medicine, or do we rather need legislation outlawing its use?
An article in Mother Jones is raising the alarm. Mother Jones is actually a very pro-vaccine publication, so why is it alarmed? A clue is in the title “The DNA of Deadly Pathogens Is Easy to Obtain”. A virologist David Evans has created a close relative of smallpox, a devastating disease that was thankfully eradicated 36 years ago. He was able to do so because he was simply able to order long stretches of the virus’s DNA in the mail from GeneArt, a subsidiary of Thermo Fisher Scientific. Mother Jones summarises:
“Today there are dozens, perhaps hundreds, of companies selling genes, offering DNA at increasingly low prices. (If DNA resembles a long piece of text, rates today are often lower than 10 cents per letter; at this rate, the genetic material necessary to begin constructing an influenza virus would cost less than $1,500.) And new benchtop technologies—essentially, portable gene printers—promise to make synthetic DNA even more widely available.”
An Unregulated Multinational Biotech Industry
The dangers of the wide availability of deadly pathogens is not too hard to figure out for the average citizen, but it is apparently very hard for governments. The United States imposes few security regulations on synthetic DNA providers. In the USA it is perfectly legal to make a batch of genes from Ebola or smallpox and ship it to a US address, no questions asked. A number of nonprofits pushing for regulation are finding it hard to gain traction in the spiralling multinational biotech industry.
The most prominent scientist sounding warnings about the danger of unchecked DNA synthesis is Kevin Esvelt, a biotechnologist at MIT. He explains the problem is that even a recent graduate level biotechnologist would have no problem assembling a bioweapon from readily available synthetic gene sequences. A bioterror attack is only a short time away, according to Esvelt.
Others disagree. Milton Leitenberg, a biosecurity expert at the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland, concedes that making a virus might be easy, but carrying out a bioattack would be difficult(???). Now correct me if I am wrong, but aren’t we in the middle of a global pandemic which was likely started very simply by a lab in China which says it wasn’t even trying to start a bioattack? It seemed to manage it quite simply by accident (???).
Governments Are Covering Up or Ignoring Safety Signals
The main problem is that nobody appears concerned about biosecurity. Most governments, including ours, have been ignoring pandemic safety signals and even covering them up. This article points out that the regulation of gain of function research is vague, secretive, opaque, lacks accountability, and captures very little that’s risky in the life sciences. You could be forgiven for thinking the US government wants to encourage it.
Surely not? In any case, it wouldn’t happen here. We have an honest government, right? It seems not. Dr. Vinay Prasad is an American hematologist-oncologist and health researcher. He is a professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He is the author of the books Ending Medical Reversal (2015) and Malignant (2020).
He is a highly published author known for examining drug trial reliability. Vinay rates a preprint paper authored by our Ministry of Health (MoH) claiming satisfactory Covid mRNA vaccine health outcomes as “really bad” followed by a LOL emoji (that is about as low as you can go), because it uses misleading statistical methods in order to downgrade the safety signal for myocarditis.
Prominent Drug Safety Expert Criticises the Ministry of Health Methodology – Not!
I can see the headline in our papers “Prominent drug safety expert criticises the Ministry of Health methodology”, no wait a minute I can’t see that headline anywhere in New Zealand. I wonder why not?
It is papers like these put out by our Ministry of Health that are enabling Albert Boula, CEO of Pfizer, to falsely claim he hasn’t seen a single safety signal. He might try a new eyeglass prescription and look at this recent paper analysing the results of 29 studies of post-vaccine myocarditis indicating a significant safety signal.
Moderna has a similar disregard for safety issues, see here, and a close relationship with US government regulators. Unbelievably Moderna was busy developing a Covid vaccine even before the pandemic (!!!) based on information it received from the government (yes, they knew what was coming, but no one told us). You can’t read about this in MSM either.
Was this an isolated connection between biotech vaccine researchers and the US government? Apparently not. There is a history of US involvement with Ebola that is very worrying indeed.
Natural is Undoubtedly a Misused Term
So OK, it seems that governments can’t be trusted to regulate biotechnology, but will they be able to regulate Natural Health Products as they intend to do post pandemic here in New Zealand and elsewhere? ‘Natural’ is undoubtedly a misused term around the world. The EU has agreed to allow ‘acheta domesticus’ aka natural common house crickets to be added to:
“multigrain bread and rolls, crackers and breadsticks, cereal bars, dry pre-mixes for baked products, biscuits, dry stuffed and non-stuffed pasta-based products, sauces, processed potato products, legume- and vegetable- based dishes, pizza, pasta-based products, whey powder, meat analogues, soups and soup concentrates or powders, maize flour-based snacks, beer-like beverages, chocolate confectionary, nuts and oilseeds, snacks other than chips, and meat preparations, intended for the general population.”
Only the “defatted powder of house crickets” will be used. Whew!
Just in case you are worried that an ugly inch long bug will crawl out of your loaf or be found floating in your beer, be assured that only “defatted powder of house cricket” will be used. If you want to know how to turn house crickets into defatted powder, forget it. This is protected proprietary information, nor are details of its digestibility to be released. You may have to find out for yourself by eating it.
It is not all bad news though. Insect protein from house crickets is, in fact, already known to be allergenic, so you won’t be in for too much of a shock when you turn purple and swell up unexpectedly. The EU is a bit worried about that, but never mind; the regulator is planning to design some allergenic tests for some unspecified time in the future.
Insect Powder is the Way Ahead to Combat Climate Change
In the meantime, the EU has ruled that no advice on the label will have to warn unsuspecting recipients of defatted house cricket powder. In other words, the EU has looked into their crystal balls, realised that insect powder is the way ahead to combat climate change, and passed the paste. Regulators are wonderful, aren’t they, and they even get paid.
It makes you wonder what the independent (???) New Zealand regulator will do when they are appointed as the high wizard of New Zealand breakfast, lunch, and dinner with the ability to do whatever they like as long as they check with, yes you guessed it, our dear Ministry of Health.
Here’s a clue from the UK Express. Apparently, people in the UK have inexplicably been suffering from blood clots, strokes, heart attacks, and circulatory problems. No one can figure out why (???) The Express has figured it out with the help of the Cleveland Clinic and reports, “Blood clots: Compound found in eggs linked to an enhanced risk of blood clotting…which can lead to death. No worries for us then. There aren’t any eggs on our supermarket shelves. Let’s hope the regulator keeps it that way, and it is a big break for chickens. Funny though, we have been eating eggs for millennia and suddenly they are a big problem in 2023. Must be climate change again, something to do with gestation egg temperatures no doubt.
The Therapeutic Products Bill: Version 3
Joking apart, the New Zealand government has drafted an omnibus Therapeutic Products Bill, and it has passed its first reading in Parliament with the support of all parties (except the Maori Party, which might just be concerned about its effect on their traditional medicine). This Bill enables the government to facilitate biotechnology and gives a blank cheque to a regulator to tell us what herbs and supplements we can use and in what quantity. They are also allowed to tell us what herbs we can’t use.
This is the third attempt over recent years to pass a Bill like this. The last two failed because of public opposition. No one is being harmed by Natural Products, so why is our government doing this? You tell me because I can’t see any reason for this at all. It is good news for wannabe well paid government employees and multinational pharma-owned supplement suppliers. It is bad news for kiwi businesses.
Be Silent No More!
- Ask your MP to reject the regulation of Natural Products and the facilitation of biotech medicine proposed by this Bill.
- Write to Chris Hipkins (contact details) and let him know what you think.
- Go to this link to make a submission before February 15th.
At first glance, it may not seem to affect you personally, because not much is actually specified in the Bill, just a little clause allowing one government employee to decide what we can consume.
If you want more details, this short video on YouTube explains what is likely to happen to the availability of our favourite Natural Health Products. It’s not pretty. If you want more information on the risks of biotechnology visit GLOBE.GLOBAL.
Guy Hatchard, Ph.D., was formerly a senior manager at Genetic ID, a food testing and certification company (now known as FoodChain ID).