Dr Joe Smith, Gene Technology Regulator, Office of the Gene Technology Regulator.,
Therapeutic Goods Administration,
Department of Agriculture
The Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) has received a licence application from PaxVax Australia Pty Ltd (PaxVax), application number DIR 126, for the intentional release of a genetically modified (GM) bacterial vaccine against cholera into the environment in Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Victoria.
The exact molecular characterisation of the product is considered “Confidential Commercial Information”. As such, the full ingredients are not disclosed.
There have already been significant warnings about the use of genetically modified virus and vaccines. A research paper published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health in 2006 stated:
"Genetically modified (GM) viruses and genetically engineered virus-vector vaccines possess significant unpredictability and a number of inherent harmful potential hazards... Horizontal transfer of genes... is well established. New hybrid virus progenies resulting from genetic recombination between genetically engineered vaccine viruses and their naturally occurring relatives may possess totally unpredictable characteristics with regard to host preferences and disease-causing potentials.
...There is inadequate knowledge to define either the probability of unintended events or the consequences of genetic modifications."
PaxVax is a US-based private profit-making company who has stated that their aim is to “commericalize” vaccines, and they plan to use Australian citizens as their test subjects.
The Office of the Gene Technology Regulator has stated that comment is not sought from members of the public at this stage. However, members of the public do NOTrequire an invitation in order to comment on matters of significant public concern.
Here are ten IMPORTANT reasons to say NO to the release of a GMO Vaccine in Australia:
1. Approval of the release of a GM Vaccine sets a dangerous precedent which sets the stage for human beings to be used as experimental test subjects to assess the safety of a product,
2. Genetically Modified Vaccines have not been proven safe. Many harmful effects to recipients may not be realized in the short-term.
3. Many genetically modified foods and medications come from animal material, which is also not proven safe
4. There is no incidence of cholera in Australia therefore it is not appropriate to use Australia as a testing ground
5. PaxVax is a relatively new pharmaceutical company without a long enough history to demonstrate credibility, responsibility or trustworthiness
6. PaxVax is a profit-making company who has stated that their aim is to “commercialize” vaccines
7. A US-based profit making company should not be using Australian citizens as guinea pigs
8. GM bacteria might cause disease in organisms other than humans
9. The mercury resistance genes added to the GM bacteria may alter microorganisms infect wildlife and ecosystems and harm the environment.
10. PaxVax states the trial is to “confirm safety”. This means safety is currently unconfirmed
Link to Application:
Chan VS. (2006). Use of genetically modified viruses and genetically engineered virus-vector vaccines: environmental effects. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, 69 (21), 1971-1977.