Thursday, November 16, 2017

Four Years Later, Is the Unknown Pathogen a Fake?

Four years ago this week I went to see Dr. Don Huber present his sideshow at an event in my town. The grandfatherly man ground his axe against modern biotechnology, especially genetically engineered plants and the products used on them. 

One of the highlights of the night was when he scared and disgusted the concerned audience. He showed them pictures of aborted livestock and images of human disease. He claimed it to be caused from a "virus-like microfungus", an organism unknown to modern science, propagated in genetically-engineered crops and fostered by glyphosate treatment. 

Six years ago Purdue Professor Emeritus Don M. Huber wrote a letter to the USDA Secretary claiming to have cultured a new type of organism that thrived in Roundup Ready soybeans and corn, and caused harm to humans and livestock.  He never has produced any evidence building on this claim, despite vigorously defending it, claiming that it was being worked on.  Isn't it time he came clean? 

The crowd was literally gasping with his images. A man of noted accomplishment and credibility was showing them the root of all human disease and dysfunction. Damn Monsanto.

He claimed that the mystery critter obeyed Koch's postulates, meaning that you could spread the infection from one organism to another. He claimed he could culture it. 

So during the Q&A time I offered to sequence its genome, I'd just need a little culture. The whole story is here.

Of course, he declined my offer.  He had that he had crack teams of experts in Australia and China working on it.  Aside from the fact that he claims to have shared a deadly organism with China, we sit now four years later, and no further characterization. 

Purdue (his stated affiliation as Emeritus faculty), the USDA, and the CDC know nothing about the mysterious pathogen he claims to have, even though he did send a letter to USDA Secretary Vilsack about it.  

Here we sit, four years later, and the DNA sequence is still not available.  I could have had it done in a few weeks, at my personal expense. 

Could it be that there is no secret microorganism and that Dr. Huber was lying to the audience and sending fraudulent emails to Secretary Vilsack? 

He's still out on the tour, misinforming about science and creating confusion.  If you ask him about it, I'm sure he'll never come clean that he made the whole thing up. 

More on tomorrow's blog.