China has announced that it will breed pigs that are immune to the pig virus that causes AIDS-like symptoms and said that in the future, it will use the same technology to breed leaner pigs and make them become suitable as organ donors for humans, which has drawn criticism.
Wang He, a New-York based current affairs commentator told NTDTV on October 19, “There are many side effects of GM crops, and research on the effects on humans is underway. The effects of GM crops are not yet fully revealed by our current scientific capabilities. The Chinese Communist Party is now adventurously and forcibly pushing forward this (GM pig) research.”
According to the report, “hog cholera” commonly known as “blue ear disease” is common in about 80% of pig farms in China, causing infertility in sows, premature death of piglets, and respiratory failure in mature pigs. Severely infected animals usually die in three to seven days from infection from other diseases, which is similar to human AIDS. What is even more frightening is that once a pig is infected with this disease, it cannot be cured.
The report states that the Huajinlian research team from Northwest A&F University and Wei Hongjiang from Yunnan Agricultural University found that “classic swine fever” was associated with a DNA fragment. They believe that as long as this part of the DNA is removed, pigs will not get blue ear disease. In addition, they discovered gene fragments that control muscle growth in pigs.
So they took embryos from the belly of three sows, cut out the DNA that carried the blue ear disease, modified the DNA that controls the pig’s muscle growth, and then put the embryos back into the sows. As a result, only one sow delivered a litter of two healthy piglets, which means that the experiments with the two other sows were unsuccessful.
According to the Huajinlian report, an expert involved in the experiment, said that in the next step, the team will wait for the two genetically modified piglets to grow up and observe genetic changes of their offsprings. If it is confirmed that the next generation can inherit the defective gene, Huajinlian’s team will make other modifications to pig embryo DNA, including enhancing blood circulation, reducing the odors of the pigs’ excreta and turning piglets into immature pets.
Wang He, a New York-based news commentator, has accused China of such irresponsible gene editing.
Wang worries that China has now bred gene-edited livestock, and once it is promoted nationally, the impact on the Chinese people and even the world will be dreadfully bad.
He believes that, morally, there is a reason for creating the creatures on earth as they are today. If we try to edit genes and modify the biological characteristics of organisms artificially, there will be very dire consequences.
He took the human appendix as an example. Initially the medical community believed that the human appendix was useless and that it was painful only when inflamed, thus encouraging its removal. Later, the medical community gradually understood the role of the appendix, and began to seriously consider the role of every structure in the human body. Wang believes that not only for humans, but for all living things, every structure of the body is useful, but humanity’s current scientific level has not reached the point where it can be fully understood.
Regarding the Chinese regime’s attempt to use pigs as organ donors, Wang directly called it a myth, saying, “Transplanting pig organs into the human body is an act of trampling on humanity and destroying the integrity of the human body.”
He also mentioned He Jiankui and his “Genome Editing of Infants.” In November 2018, the People’s Daily – the newspaper owned by the Central Committee of CCP’s published an article praising He’s latest achievement – a pair of genetically-edited newborns. Two days later, He Jiankui introduced his gene-editing project in Hong Kong.
As soon as the news was widely published, it quickly aroused suspicion and condemnation from domestic and foreign scientific circles, claiming that He had disregarded human life and destroyed human morality. 112 Chinese scientists made it clear in a joint statement that gene-editing embryos is not a new technology and no one is doing it because of “uncertainty about the embryo’s life as well as other major and most importantly ethical risks… The potential risks and harms to the human community arise from procedural injustices and continue to present the future of humanity with unpredictable risks.”
The news prompted public condemnation calling China immoral. The People’s Daily then deleted the report and edited it to criticize He. Senior Chinese officials, including Premier Li Keqiang, have openly criticized He. He was placed under house arrest after returning from Hong Kong and was sentenced to three years in prison in December 2019. After receiving He’s research papers in 2019, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology asked four experts to review them and determine that He’s claims contained fraudulent details. The gene editing he performed is not effective, and can even lead to unforeseen gene mutations.