By Dr. Mercola
I've previously written about how your environment and lifestyle, particularly your diet, has a direct influence on your genetic expression. For example, research using identical twins have shown that diet trumps genes in terms of the level of health you achieve.
The science of epigenetics also challenges the conventional view of genetics, proving that the environment determines which traits a gene will express, and that your fate is in no way written in stone even if you have genetic predispositions.
Findings such as these offer tremendous amounts of hope for every single one of us, as it removes us from the position of victims of our heredity, and makes us masters of our own health and well-being.
Alas, as expressed in the featured article1 by Jonathan Latham, PhD, it has become increasingly clear that there's collusion going on between our government, industry, and scientists, to hide the fact that everything from human health and intellectual capacity to various addictions are indeed caused by the environment in which we find ourselves.
Science Increasingly Used as a Tool for Social Control
Latham starts off by discussing a truly blatant example of this type of manufactured PR. A recent study2 found that 98 percent of all variation in educational attainment (i.e. whether you complete high school or college) is accounted for by factors other than your genetic makeup.
"This implies that most of student success is a consequence of potentially alterable social or environmental factors," Latham writes.
"This is an important and perhaps surprising observation, of high interest to parents, teachers, and policymakers alike; but it did not make the headlines. The likely reason is that the authors of the study failed to mention the 98 percent figure in the title, or in the summary. Nor was it mentioned in the accompanying press release.
Instead, their discussion and interest focused almost entirely on a different aspect of their findings: that three gene variants each contribute just 0.02% (one part in 5,000) to variation in educational attainment.
Thus the final sentence of the summary concluded not with a plea to find effective ways to help all young people to reach their full potential but instead proposed that these three gene variants "provide promising candidate SNPs (DNA markers) for follow-up work."
This is as spectacular a misdescription of a scientific finding as is to be found anywhere in the scientific literature. But the question is why?"
Why indeed. Well, the answer becomes rather obvious when you consider the factors at play. First of all, there's the issue of pure ego and self preservation of geneticists. Study after study demonstrates that genes actually have precious little to do with anything that happens to you.
It doesn't seem to matter what's under review, be it disease, behavior, or more nebulous areas such as your ability for "happiness"—the link to specific genetic variations remains stubbornly elusive. If gene variation is truly irrelevant, then the entire field of genetic research becomes superfluous...
But as Latham points out, the full answer to this question is more "interesting" than mere conflict of interest on behalf of scientists trying to keep their field alive. Government and a number of industries also have a vested interest in genetics, as gene variation removes responsibility from their respective shoulders. According to Latham:
"[O]ver the last 15 years, close to half the budget of the NIH has gone to genetic analysis of human populations. That is likely in excess of $100 billion dollars in the US alone.
The tobacco industry also pioneered 'behavioral genetics'. The idea that even addiction to cigarettes was a genetic phenomenon (and not a characteristic of cigarettes or tobacco) originated with the tobacco industry. The consistent aim behind promoting genetics, according to a memo written by Fred R. Panzer, Vice President of Public Relations for the Tobacco Institute, was to change the focus of attention "from one product to a type of person."
Science of Human Health in the Grip of Hidden Political Forces
In his article, Latham makes a strong case for the idea that our health science is "in the grip of hidden political forces." This is similar to what I discussed in my article, "Expert" Detractors on California Prop 37 are Shills for Big Biotech. In it, I reveal how for-profit corporations hire "third party experts" to bring their message to you, especially through the media.
This, my friends, is a commonly used form of propaganda, perfected by the tobacco industry. It's nothing but advertising masquerading as "information," or worse, as "independently-verified evidence." In essence, it's a hidden form of social control, where the opinion of the masses is steered by industry- and/or government forces.
If people can be made to believe that their genes are the primary drivers of disease, poor mental health, and even educational achievement, then those in control need not change a thing—toxins need not be removed from their products and the social control mechanism that is our US educational system can remain unaddressed, for example. It's well worth noting that evidence for genetic causations of any kind remains stunningly absent. As researchers Claudia Chaufan and Jay Joseph wrote3: "[T]hese variants have not been found because they do not exist."
It's quite clear that money and politics can and are dictating the conclusions of scientific research. I've discussed this in a number of articles that address how dramatically funding will skew a study's findings. Using the featured study as an example, the funding for the genetic research into a person's ability to attain a higher educational status was funded by a genetic epidemiology project called the Social Science Genetic Association Consortium (SSGAC), which obtains its money primarily from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the US government. The Consortium performs research under the founding premise that most outcomes in life stems from your genetic makeup. As Latham states:
"Consequently, the aim of all its projects is to physically locate these specific genetic factors on human DNA. But the actual Rietveld result implies that such genetic predispositions are pretty much irrelevant, at least as far as educational attainment is concerned. Thus we can say that SSGACs' founding premise is not in alignment with the data.
But that just brings the question back one stage further: why is the US government funding excessively genetic determinist projects such as this in the first place? The probable answer is that the US education system has many problems, which are exemplified by its low rankings on international scales. There is a danger that blame for these problems might be laid at the door of the secretary for education, the administration, or the President. This possibility could be neatly sidestepped, however, if educational attainment was genetically fated.
Essentially the same political logic applies to any human disease or disorder, or even any social complaint. If the disorder, for example autism, can be shown (or even just suggested) to have a partial genetic origin then a barn door is opened for any accused vaccine maker, or polluter, or policymaker, to evade the blame–both legally and in the perception of the public."
Genetic Causes for Cancer Could Save Industries Billions of Dollars
As an example of what we're talking about here, take a look at cancer research. While a lot of research money is funneled into genetic research, virtually nothing is spent on determining the extent to which our food and environment triggers the disease. As stated earlier, your genes will express or suppress genetic data depending on the environment in which it finds itself, meaning the presence or absence of appropriate nutrients, toxins, and even your thoughts and feelings, which unleash hormones and other chemicals in your body. Research into the health of our ancient ancestors4 also suggests that cancer is indeed a manmade disease, in large part caused by environmental factors such as:
Pesticide- and other synthetic chemical exposures A predominance of sugars and grains which causes the body to burn sugar rather than fat as its primary fuel Wireless technologies, dirty electricity, and medical diagnostic radiation exposure Pharmaceutical drugs Obesity, stress, and poor sleeping habits Lack of sunshine exposure and use of sunscreens
Were this to be officially acknowledged to be at the heart of our cancer epidemic, people would likely demand a complete overhaul of most industries that provide us with everything from food and clothes to personal care products, furnishings and more. No one really wants to take that bull by the horn, and our flawed system allows these industries to pad the pockets of politicians and regulators who make sure they're protected from invasive scrutiny.
The power and influence of some industries, such as the pharmaceutical industry, is so robust that our government has even enacted laws that prevent or severely limit you from suing pharmaceutical companies and vaccine makers when their products cause harm or death... Even worse, parents who object to the use of toxic chemotherapy on their children with cancer can have all of their children removed by the state. I predict that future generations will surely view this as an incomprehensible violation of human rights.
50 Industry Groups Form a New Alliance to Manipulate Public Opinion
Another example of the social programming that is currently in full swing is the use of front groups by industries with something to hide. For example, more than 50 front groups, working on behalf of food and biotechnology trade groups―Monsanto being the most prominent― formed a coalition called Alliance to Feed the Future. This alliance, which is being coordinated by the International Food Information Council (IFIC), was ostensibly created to "balance the public dialogue" on modern agriculture and large-scale food production and technology, i.e. this group will aim to become the go-to source for "real" information about the junk being sold as "food."
However, the groups comprising this new alliance actually represent multi-national food companies, biotech industry, and chemical companies that generate hundreds of billions of dollars worth of revenue from food related sales every year. This hardly makes them a reliable source of independent information, yet unless the public becomes widely aware of this ruse to confuse them, they will likely succeed in their mission to manipulate public opinion about food.
In a report titled: Best Public Relations Money Can Buy: A Guide to Food Industry Front Groups5, Michele Simon, JD, MPH, a policy consultant with Center for Food Safety also reveals how the food and agricultural industry hide behind friendly-sounding organizations aimed at fooling the public, policymakers and media alike.
These front groups are specifically created to mislead you about the product in question, protect industry profits, and influence regulatory agencies. This amount of collusion is clearly not necessary for a food or product that is truly safe and has great intrinsic value, but it must be done for inferior and/or dangerous products that cannot stand up to closer scrutiny by truly independent sources.
What's more, a large number of front groups have been created in order to have more seats at the Codex meetings, essentially giving chemical companies and major food manufacturers a much louder voice, in order to control the decisions made. And the decisions made at Codex affect food regulations across the world, not just in the US. To learn more about these front groups, please see my previous article, Front Groups Exposed—50 Industry Groups Form a New Alliance to Manipulate Public Opinion About Junk Food, GMOs, and Harmful Additives.
Modern Science—A "Full-Blown Enlightenment Malfunction"
As Latham states, "an extra-scientific explanation is required to explain why very large sums of taxpayer money have funded human genetic research in the face of such negative results." One such "extra-scientific" explanation by Latham is that "most of science is essentially now a top-down project."
This definitely appears to be the case in medical science, where the majority of research is funded by the very companies and industries that stand to gain from a particular result. Publication bias — the practice of selectively publishing trial results that serve an agenda — along with outright scientific fraud, has become a cancer at the core of evidence-based medicine. I am a big believer in the scientific method, provided it's applied appropriately that is. And that's the key issue here.
In order to qualify in the first place, the research must be unbiased, unprejudiced and free from any significant conflicts of interest. Sadly, this is not the case with most of modern medicine—especially not when it comes to drug research. But as the featured article points out, scientific inquiry into genetic causes are equally problematic. In fact, the ramifications may be even more far-reaching than that of corrupted drug science.
"There persists a romantic notion (retained by many scientists) that science is a process of free enquiry... But free enquiry in science is all but extinct," Latham writes. "In reality, only a tiny proportion of research in biology gets done outside of straightjackets imposed by funding agencies... The consequences of this dynamic are that individual scientists have negligible power within the system; but more importantly it opens a route by which powerful political or commercial forces can surreptitiously set the science agenda from above.
In the case of medical genetics that power has been used to deform our understanding of human nature itself.
Thus public money has bought not scientific 'progress' but the domination of intellectual enquiry by an entirely malevolent project, conceived fully outside of science. This project was intended only to ensure political paralysis and the consolidation of economic power and whatever agenda scientists thought they were following was entirely incidental. What we observe is in fact a full-blown enlightenment malfunction."
You Can Take Control of Your Health
Ideally you're already leading a healthy lifestyle, eating right, exercising and managing stress, but if you're not, it's never too late to start. Each tissue only uses about 10 percent to 20 percent of its gene complement, and you want to be sure that those genes are the most advantageous ones possible for your health. You can begin to "remind" your cells to express in a healthful way, long before you manifest a disease, by encouraging your genes to express positive, disease-fighting behaviors by leading a healthy lifestyle.
As Latham says:
"[D]espite the almost daily PR barrage of genetic determinist headlines, our fate is not written in our DNA and the state of public understanding can in principle be reversed. The hopeful truth is that there are compelling reasons to remove subsidies for junk food, pesticides from the food and water, toxins from the workplace, and social and economic injustices from society, and that when we do, things will improve."
However, I suggest you don't wait for such changes to occur. Rather take matter into your own hands, educate yourself about health, and do that which is within your own power—which is a lot, by the way. When it comes to epigenetic expression, keep in mind that diet is only part of the equation. You can also turn your genes on and off with your emotions, and exercise has a direct impact on DNA as well.