The EPA has approved a new kind of genetically engineered corn, named SmartStax Pro. It has a built-in pesticide that targets rootworms, by disrupting one of their genes. The corn will contain Bt toxin, which is a pesticide inside the plant, and DvSnf7 dsRNA, both of which are newcomers to human digestion. [Monsanto says it never tested glyphosate for cancer, but we must consider the possibility that it did do so and then buried the unwanted findings. Either way – failed to test, or hid the test – would you trust the company to do responsible testing on its new RNAi corn?] –GEG
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently and quietly approved Monsanto’s new genetic engineering technology, known as RNAi. 
The insecticide DvSnf7 dsRNA is not sprayed on crops. Instead, instructions for manufacturing it in the DNA of the crop itself must be encoded in crops. The plants’ self-made DvSnf7 dsRNA disrupts a crucial gene in western corn rootworms – a major threat to corn – and kills the pests.
All that’s left after that is RNA interference, or RNAi, and the EPA approved this final step in making corn rootworm-resistant in mid-June 2017. RNAi was the source of both hype and controversy just a few years ago, The Atlantic reports. But the EPA so quietly approved the technology that the media and environmental groups barely noticed.
The first DvSnf7 dsRNA product will be used in SmartStax Pro genetically modified corn seeds made in collaboration between the world’s top agrotech giants, Monsanto and Dow. Monsanto will supply the RNAi technology, and it already has its eye on several RNAi applications. The company expects corn seed with RNAi to be on the market by the end of this decade.
The western corn rootworm is known as the “billion dollar pest” because of the damage it wreaks on cornfields. The insect keeps becoming resistant to the other insecticides that farmers use against it – including the kind you spray on crops and corn genetically modified to product Bt toxin, another technology commercialized by Monsanto.
The SmartStax Pro corn will contain both Bt toxin and DvSnf7 dsRNA.
RNAi works by “turning off” 1 specific gene in 1 specific species by leaving other crops unharmed, at least theoretically. In nature, plants and animals use this process to “silence” their own genes. The technology has already been used to create genetically modified apples and potatoes that don’t brown. (The apples, called Arctic Apples, are expected to reach supermarkets in the U.S. by the end of 2017.)
However, with Monsanto and Dow’s GMO corn, the DvSnf7 dsRNA silences a gene in another living organism, in this case the western corn rootworm. It modifies its environment, rather than itself.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan has been accused of sabotage for allegedly leaking ICE to arrest thousands of migrant families who have been denied asylum in ten major cities. Trump tweeted that he is delaying the deportations for two weeks, at the request of the Democrats.
A Baptist pastor, Afhsin Yaghtin, was arrested and jailed after refusing to move across the street from the public library while exercising his right to free speech against a “Drag Queen Story Hour.” There was a strong police presence, including snipers on the rooftop.
The leaders in Ireland plan to use tax hikes, bans on fuel, and red tape to enact a new climate program that includes a scheme to force people out of their cars to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2050.
Tucker Carlson says that the Republican Party seems out of sync with conservative voters because the Koch brothers, major funders of the GOP, actually oppose most conservative policy goals. The Koch brothers support open borders. And they have now joined the left-wing campaign against free speech.
An Australian study showed that some people, especially teens, are suffering from ‘text neck,’ which is muscle weakness that causes the body makes more bone on the back of the head to compensate. The new bone spurs will be passed down to future generations through epigenetics.
An American surveillance drone was shot down by Iranian forces and Trump was set to strike three sites in Iran but he reversed course after military leaders disclosed that 150 people would likely be killed. Trump wrote that it would not be a proportionate response to downing a drone that did not have anyone on board.
In October 2018, during the senate hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Capitol Police arrested 27-year-old Jackson Cosko of DC for “allegedly posting private, identifying information (doxxing) about one or more United States Senators.” Accused ‘doxxer’
The bill was poised to pass in the Senate until Republican lawmakers scattered outside the state to avoid being rounded up by troopers to avoid the scheduled vote. The Republicans are calling for the vote to be put on a ballot for the citizens to decide.
Senator Josh Hawley authored a bill to end immunity granted to tech companies under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act that shields them from publisher liability lawsuits if the companies provide an open public forum. Unfortunately, the big tech companies have engaged in political censorship.
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