NEW PIG VIRUS CAPABLE OF INFECTING HUMANS
Australian scientists sounded a new warning against cross species transplants after two piggery workers were found to be infected with a previously unknown virus, which had caused stillbirths and brain and spinal cord defects in pigs. The humans recovered and the disease, which was raced to a colony of fruit bats, appears to have been contained, but there is no
guarantee that it won't reoccur.
In March 1997, British researchers reported that pig retroviruses PERVS) had multiplied in human kidney cells in vitro. Because retroviruses are permanent once established, and can be transmitted through bodily fluids (like HIV, the retrovirus many scientists blame for triggering the diseases known as AIDS). Animal viruses are usually unable to penetrate barriers posed by the human skin, stomach acids, and immune response, but if they are planted inside and become a functioning part of the human body, it becomes less likely that the immune system, particularly one compromised by anti-rejection drugs, can eliminate them.
In November, Dr. Robin Weiss of the Chester Beatty Laboratory in London announced finding a porcine endogenous retrovirus, harmless to pigs, but with the ability to infect human cells. This discovery reinforced the British decision to ban transplanting organs from pigs to people for the time being.
Scientists and their commercial backers, who are pushing to begin human transplants with organs from pigs genetically altered to carry human genes, claim that they can screen out any viruses from organs to be used for transplants. Virologist Peter Kirkland and colleagues at the Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute in Camden, NSW Australia countered in New Scientist that "You can't screen for viruses you don't know about."
Following closely as it did on the heels of the Hong Kong chicken flu scare, the news from Australia was not reassuring. Prompt action by Hong Kong health authorities in killing all the chickens there may possibly have averted another flu epidemic like the one that killed over 20 million people in 1918-1919.
Animal viruses do not normally infect humans, but when they do, they encounter a new environment where there are few, if any, antibodies to resist their spread. Dr. Andre Menache, President of Doctors and Lawyers for Responsible Medicine, likens this situation to naughty
children being turned loose in a new playground without supervision.
Meeting no resistance, foreign viruses are free to mutate and become transmissible from human to human as happened with the devastating 1918 epidemic which was traced to American pigs but called "Spanish flu" at that time in spite of the fact that it was spread by American troops during World War I. In 1976 it was called "swine flu" after a soldier at Fort Dix had died of what later turned out to be another strain of influenza (A-Victoria) setting off a government-subsidized campaign for massive vaccinations which resulted in 113 deaths and an estimated 3600 cases of paralysis at a cost to U.S. taxpayers of $135 billion. In spite of having been inoculated with a comprehensive flu vaccine, 500 soldiers at Fort Dix were stricken with the disease.
This debacle has nothing to do with xenotransplants but it serves to illustrate how health authorities have bungled in the past. Because pressure for vaccinating the entire U.S. population came from the manufacturers of the vaccine, it also serves to show how such dangerous decisions come to be made. We now have similar pressure to begin transgenic transplants from certain impetuous surgeons, the manufacturers of immunosuppressive drugs required to prevent rejection of transplanted organs, and the producers of transgenic pigs (an assault on the natural order of things).
Selling pig organs at $12,000 apiece is estimated to result in a $6 billion market by 2010. The market for immunosuppressive drugs by that year is estimated at $5 billion. In addition there are surgical and hospital fees.
The number of people suffering from failing organs and pinning their hopes on a human replacement is most distressing. It is also a strong indictment of allopathic medical practice which focuses on trying to patch people up after damage has occurred as opposed to helping them to take care of the organs they already have. While it is a worthy cause to try to help people in trouble, it would be far better all around to help them not to get sick in the first place.
Under the present system, the people of our aging population are falling ill in greater numbers than ever. The cost of modern, high tech treatment exceeds the ability of most people to pay for it. Many are unable to afford the increased cost of health insurance. The government's Medicaid and Medicare systems are financially strained. Why on earth would we want to embark on experimenting with such an expensive treatment as xenotransplants even if its safety were assured, which it isn't.
Other countries have increased the supply of human organs by assuming that the organs of people who have died are available for transplants unless they or their families have specifically expressed wishes to the contrary.
Transgenics: The Coming Genetics Nightmare!
The Trojan Horse of Genetically Modified Food
Coming Gene Wars | Got Spider Goat Milk? | Spider Goats
Mad Scientists! | Human Cows! | Transgenics and Transvestites
Making Genetic Monsters | Transgenic Cats | Transgenic Pigs
BIOCOLONIZATION | Playing God with Chimeras | Human Mice!
Outrage at "Frankenstein" Animal Experiments | The Thing!
Transgenic Pigs End Up as Chicken Feed
Genetic Engineering: Playing God? | The Coming Genetics Nightmare
The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity (stem cell research, cloning, etc.)
Genetically Engineered Crops May Produce Herbicide Inside Our Intestines
Transgenic Chickens | Transgenic Sheep
Molecular Trojan Horses | Kluwer Transgenic Research
The Stanford Transgenic Research Facility
'Trojan Gene' Could Wipe Out Fish!
Transgenic Research Reagents
Disturbing Possibilities - A Human Cow!
The Biotech Harvest | The Coming Food Shortage!
Controlling the World's Food - Seeds of Deception!
Chimeras, Cloning and Freak Human-Animal Hybrids (mutants)
A Spinach Pig | Vegetable (edible) Vaccinations | Designer Babies
This will be every transgenic cat's dream, glow in the dark mice. Don't think for one moment that fluorescent humans aren't around the corner, mark my words...you'll see it, along with spider humans and every other godless monstrosity of mad scientists. Man's good intentions are often a Pandora's box. Even so, come Lord Jesus!
Every single transgenic animal of any species born so far has had genetic defects that scientists admit they cannot predict and that seem to adhere to no pattern. Transgenic animals are being born with lungs that don't inflate, for example. Others can't stand up. Most—98 percent—abort their fetuses. Researchers are driven by money, not ethics. They have no idea what will happen to cats if they remove the genes that cause sneezing in people. Those genes are there for a reason, and tinkering causes physiological and immune system problems that researchers admit they can neither anticipate nor control.
"And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so." -Genesis 1:24