Published on Aug 24, 2014
Remember Prodigene and Epicyte?
In a special investigative report, Truthstream follows the trail of biopharming, where science is using genetically engineered crops to grow pharmaceutical and vaccine components. Some of these medications are developed to be eaten directly as food.
One firm, Prodigene, was caught in a major scandal back in 2002 after experimental pharmaceuticals growing in open air fields – treatments for AIDS, Hepatitis B and gastrointestinal diseases – contaminated nearby food crops.
Rather than reign in their potentially hazardous test crops, the USDA – publicly supportive of biopharmaceutical potential – helped Prodigene pay back damages and cover further research.
However, the firm disappeared after a subsequent contamination violation led to a court decision barring them and their principals from receiving any further testing permits. But did Prodigene really stop its pharma-crop production?
Melissa Melton follows its founder and lead research scientist through his work at a spinoff firm, where human trials are set to begin soon for a Hepatitis B vaccine grown in genetically modified corn.