Op-Ed in Response to Drovers Article “mRNA Conspiracy Theories: Ranch Group Offers ‘Fearmongering’ and ‘Misinformation’”

Let the Truth Be Known  By R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard

When was the last time a ranch group went public and said that despite grandiose reports from the pharmaceutical industry and government about the safety of a novel and yet unapproved synthetically produced immunization delivery system for cattle, in this case messenger ribonucleic acid or mRNA, that the truthful answer is we don’t yet know the long-term effects of mRNA injections in livestock? 

In a recent public commentary, R-CALF USA said this twice. And in a public news release, the ranch group stated that “because the research on mRNA is still in its infancy, no one really knows the full impact it has on either humans or animals, particularly its long-term impact” and “this itself warrants more extensive mRNA research focused on safety, heightened public vigilance, and greater transparency.”

In its public commentary, the ranch group blamed the pharmaceutical companies and the government for “not providing clear, factual, and concise information to the public about messenger ribonucleic acid or mRNA, and by not allowing the public adequate time to consider factual information and to ask questions.”

In harsh opposition, Drovers magazine and its pharmaceutical backers attacked R-CALF USA in an April 24, 2023, article, by Drovers’ Greg Henderson, titled “mRNA Conspiracy Theories: Ranch Group Offers ‘Fearmongering’ and ‘Misinformation.’”

The presumed purpose of the Drovers article is to silence the ranch group’s criticism of pharmaceutical companies and the government’s failure to provide full transparency regarding impending plans to obtain approval for mRNA injections in cattle and their safety. For example, Iowa State University researchers submitted a multi-year research project to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to test a cattle mRNA vaccine system for bovine respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection. According to the submission, researchers planned to test the mRNA on cattle during the second year of the project with a completion date of 2026. It would be naïve not to assume that such a research project signals an effort to obtain approval for mRNA injections in U.S. cattle.  

Drovers even took exception to R-CALF USA’s use of the term “mRNA injection” rather than “mRNA vaccine”. There is a good reason for this. According to research by Robert Thornsberry, DVM, contemporary vaccines typically use the same germs that cause disease, but in a killed or weakened state so they don’t make the patient sick. An mRNA injection is different because it contains a synthetically produced genetic code that tricks living cells into manufacturing a protein-based germ antigen itself. Dr. Thornsberry indicates mRNA injections belong in the category of gene therapy – experimental techniques that use genes to treat disease.

Drovers also criticized R-CALF USA’s statement that mRNA injections hijack living cells. But that is exactly what they do. Living cells are factories that produce more living cells. But when injected with mRNA, the factory retools and begins producing antigens pursuant to the coded instructions delivered to it by the synthetically produced mRNA injection.

Drovers then brought in an associate professor of animal science at Texas A&M, Dr. Penny Riggs, to refute R-CALF USA’s points of concern regarding mRNA injections. Riggs was quoted making the following definitive assertions:

“No food safety risk exists for meat from animals that have received any vaccination.”

“mRNA from a vaccine will NOT be passed along in meat.”

But research by Dr. Thornsberry includes findings that render Riggs’ definitive findings at least uncertain, if not false.

For example, Dr. Thornsberry cites the following research and findings:

Fertig et al. found lipid nanoparticles with mRNA were measurable in plasma for 15 days. Recently, Castruita et al. demonstrated mRNA in blood out to 28 days. Röltgen et al. have found mRNA in lymph nodes 60 days after injection.”

“As recently as January 31, 2022, researchers have published techniques for mRNA administration through the human stomach.”

“A recent review paper written by Helene Banoun, a pharmacist biologist from France, raises alarms about the shedding of COVID-19 coded mRNA from vaccinated to unvaccinated close associates. Banoun is quoted as stating, ‘Vaccine mRNA-carrying lipid nanoparticles spread after injection throughout the body according to available animal studies and vaccine mRNA …  is found in the bloodstream…’ Based on her findings, Banoun stated, ‘It is urgent to enforce the legislation on gene therapy that applies to mRNA vaccines and to carry out studies on this subject while the generalization of mRNA vaccines is being considered.’”

“Swedish researchers published inCurrent Issues Molecular Biology 2022, 44, 1115–1126 their findings that directly dispute the claim that mRNA injections do not enter the nucleus of the cell where our DNA (genetic material) is located. While their study was performed utilizing liver cancer cells in culture, within 6 hours of exposing the liver cells to COVID-19 spike antigen coded mRNA, reverse transcription occurred, placing the mRNA carried genetic code into the nuclear DNA of the cells.”

With so many unknowns, just how should a responsible ranch group respond amidst this ongoing battle between scientific experts regarding the short and long-term safety of mRNA injections for cattle? 

Should we simply trust the pharmaceutical companies and the government as Riggs suggests when she advised that “we should be celebrating the advances in technology that enable more precise and effective strategies for ensuring animal health and well-being in order to continue producing the nutritious and safe meat, milk, and other animal source products that sustain life and good health”?

R-CALF USA disagrees. Instead, we intend to learn the truth by continuing to disclose differing scientific findings, seeking more research into the long-term effects of mRNA injections for cattle, and demanding more transparency from pharmaceutical companies and the government.

Meanwhile, Congress should immediately enact the American Beef Labeling Act (S.52) so consumers can begin distinguishing beef produced exclusively in the United States, where mRNA is not approved for cattle, from imported beef that may be subjected to mRNA injections.

Bill Bullard is the CEO of R-CALF USA, the nation’s largest nonprofit trade association exclusively representing cattle farmers and ranchers.

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