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Why do Europeans ban transgenic vaccines in pets and animals?

Why do Europeans ban transgenic vaccines in pets and animals?

By Anastasia Gubin

A report issued in Europe explains why the use of genetically modified vaccines proposed to the community are ethically questionable and inadvisable because they constitute a risk to human health and the environment.

The Norwegian government sent an assessment of the legal, social, sustainability and ethical type, rejecting the trade of products of this nature, by joining the opposition expressed by other countries of the European Union, through the Ministry of Climate and Ambient.

GMOs or genetically modified organisms are "microorganisms, plants or animals whose genetic material was modified by means of a gene or cell technology," Minister Tine Sundtoft explained on November 26, when she announced that she was evaluating new proposed products.

According to the new legislation, if the European Commission authorizes the trade of a transgenic product, the member countries of the EU have to explain why they do not want them to be sold in their countries.

The transgenic Raboral V RG rabies vaccine was one of the products previously rejected by Norway and European countries. At the legal level, the government claimed that it represents a "risk of harm to people and the environment."

This is prepared with the gene of a virus of the rabies in a vaccinia virus, whose genus, Orthopoxviridae is of the family where they are others "such as smallpox, and several dangerous and lethal poxviruses", says the report.

The vaccine is promoted for wild animals and pets, with a manual application or to spread freely via the air.

At the health level, “the vaccinia virus has a very wide range of hosts (insects, birds, rodents and most other mammals), and therefore creates a real opportunity for the spread of a genetically modified virus, in humans and ecosystems ”.

This potential human risk is associated with the risk of diffusion and proliferation, the report highlights.

He further argues that there is poor research on long-term effects.

* How genetically stable is the virus, over time?
* What is the ability of the virus to genetically recombine or acquire genetic material from naturally occurring viruses?
* If the viruses that exist in the ecosystem can be affected
* How insects, birds or animals can act as migratory vectors
* How long can the virus survive outside of a living cell under different environmental conditions?
* Whether the virus can establish long-lasting, cynically persistent or latent infections

The Norwegian decision even speaks of a concern about the risk of complications such as meningitis, precisely associated with exposure to the vaccinia virus.

In countries where there is no disease of this family of viruses, and vaccination of this type was not required for decades, the analysis warns that "a growing proportion of the population is not immune to vaccine viruses", which could spread by human action.

When pets are vaccinated, the vaccine openly exposes the virus to humans, especially children.

Another concern is that “the extent to which the vaccinia virus can recombine with other closely related orthopoxviruses is not examined.

"The viral genetic stability of the vaccine over time is not well documented," says the document.

He also highlights that “from the scientific literature, however, it is well documented that genetic recombination occurs between laboratory animals and the poxvirus, and in the rapid spread of this virus, genetic alterations often occur. Industry experts in Norway also point to the risk of recombination and increased virulence of the vaccine virus, with consequent health risks for animals, pets and wild cattle. "

Another risk factor exposed is that the vaccination of wild animals and pets can hide the incidence of the disease and therefore prevent the diagnosis, required in the health prevention plans of a country.

On the other hand, he warns that the same uncertainty of the long-term consequences of the vaccine, for health and for the environment, makes it difficult to assess whether vaccination contributes to sustainable development.

"The risk of inconvenience in the context of the vaccine is not considered to contribute positively to society and sustainable direction, and implies that permission for vaccination is considered ethically questionable," the report concludes.

In a second case, Norway explained why it rejected the genetically modified vaccine against Aujeszky's disease (ADV) or pseudorabies (PRV) in pigs, it was also rejected for similar reasons.

This is a disease that can also attack other livestock species such as cows, sheep, goats, chickens, cats, dogs, and rats. It is caused by the Herpes virus, suis virus 1.

It was diagnosed in Argentina in 1979, and is on the A list of infectious diseases of cattle.

The vaccine contains a genetically modified live ADV virus. The purpose of the genetic modification was made to weaken the virus so that it provides the necessary immune effect without causing disease.

Genetic modification reduces the ability to damage the nervous system and cell-to-cell transport.

Norway highlighted that Denmark rejected the vaccine for lack of important evidence on potential adverse health and ecological consequences, and in compliance with veterinary legislation like the United Kingdom banned the vaccine.

Infection with the virus often occurs through the respiratory tract, but it can also take place through the mucous membranes. It can occur through the house fly as a vector, through the consumption of infected meat, through skin wounds, naturally or through transmission from the mother to the fetus.

Norwegian experts noted that they are "very skeptical" that they are administering the vaccine by injection just into the skin, as there is a great risk of spreading the virus.

The uncertainty related to the long-term consequences for animal health and the environment, makes it difficult to assess whether this product will contribute to sustainable development, so it was also declared that it is not ethically justifiable to approve its sale.

The new legal status on genetically modified organisms in Europe indicates that "under the Law [the authorities] can still prohibit or restrict sales, if in their opinion, it involves a risk to health and the environment."
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