The coming plagues
© Robert Anderson PhD
Originally published in Heritage, Vol. 32, No 123, 2008
Published by the Australian Heritage Society
Never before in the history of humankind have giant, profit-driven corporations spent such enormous amounts of money on messing with our food. Food today is genetically engineered, irradiated, homogenised, freeze-dried and more. Currently, it is being plied with nanoparticles to further extend shelf life and/or change flavours, improve taste, etc. Few if any of these “fixes” are subject to adequate if any safety regulations.
As worries about genetically engineered foods, nanotechnology, etc., grow, and various techno fixes proliferate, an almost parallel growth is happening in what could be described as plagues. Some have been around a while, like AIDS, and some are new, e.g. SARS and Avian Flu. Without being excessively scriptural, some claim that the seven plagues prophesied in Revelation 9:18 are proving correct: painful sores, earthquakes increasing, and the like. Are the developments of modern technologies used in food production in any way to blame?
Now another affliction has made an appearance, the cause of which is still unknown. Across the US, there are thousands of patients suffering from what has become known as Morgellon’s disease. If any complaint were ever taken straight out of the X-files, this would be it. Its symptoms are so appalling that several sufferers have reportedly committed suicide rather than wait for a cure.
Is Morgellon’s disease a casualty of biotechnology or nanotechnology?
Not a great deal is known about Morgellon’s disease, but research into it is expanding. It is a skin disorder characterized by fibre-like strands extruding from the skin, in association with severe itching and other dermatologic symptoms. First described over 300 years ago, until recently it was rare. This has changed and scientists are convinced that the modern form of this malady is entirely different to that described long ago. Morgellon’s disease is established, recognized and spreading through all strata of society at a shocking rate. It is predicted that it will have the capability to take a formidable toll on the productive capacity of society at large.
Recent reports claim that the number of cases are increasing rapidly and it has been asked, could this be a result of the introduction of genetically engineered (GE) crops and food? Over the past decade, US citizens have been consuming increasing quantities of GE food. Is the spread of Morgellon’s disease a coincidence or is it connected to these foods and other transgenic crops? It is claimed that there are now thousands of cases, spread right across the US and, although California is home to only 12% of the country’s population, 24% of US families registered with the Morgellon Foundation reside in California. The foundation[i] has registered approximately 2,500 families worldwide and over 12 000 cases in the US alone. Although the major area of contamination is the US and most of Europe, there are reports from New Zealand, South Africa, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia and Australia.
Today’s attention on Morgellon’s disease was raised first by the mother of a three-year-old boy. Her son developed rashes and extremely itchy sores, and weird, multi-coloured fibres emerged from his skin. In 2001, she put these details on a website and named it “Morgellon’s Disease” after the 17th century report of a comparable affliction.
The fibres exuded from a patient’s skin have been analysed using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR). They were found to be mainly cellulose, a chemical the human body cannot breakdown or manufacture. These fibres twist, grow and divide beneath the skin of patients suffering from Morgellon’s Disease, forming parasitic lesions. Researcher, Ahmed Kilani, was able to break down two fibre samples and extract their DNA. His tests showed that the fibres contain DNA from both a fungus and a bacterium commonly used in genetic engineering technology to create transgenic food crops[ii] and transgenic, non-food crops such as cotton. The bacterium, Agrobacterium tumafaciens, is the causal agent in the formation of tumours (Crown Gall disease) in over 140 species of dicot plants. This soil bacterium - “tumafaciens” meaning tumour making - can infect plant tissue, transferring a large plasmid, to the plant cell. It has been used extensively in many projects to genetically engineer plants.
Morgellon’s disease sufferers report the strange, fibre-like material sticking out of sores that erupt on their skin. The sores are accompanied by painful, intense itching, described as “an ever present sensation of something crawling under the skin.” According to Dr Mike Stagman, an US research scholar, “Genetic engineering is a nightmare technology that has already caused many disease epidemics - documented[iii] but unpublicised.” Morgellon’s disease may well have nothing to do with the products of genetic engineering technology, but it certainly needs further investigation.”
Children are by no means the only sufferers of this debilitating disease. One of the most convincing accounts came from a practising family doctor. On 18 May 2006, KGW, a local news channel reporting out of the Oregon area, published the following story[iv]:
An excerpt from, ‘Strange sickness: Mystery disease horror story.’
“The disabled family practice doctor felt like bugs were crawling under her skin. ‘If I fully tell people what has gone on with me medically, they think they’re in the twilight zone,’ said Dr Drottar. She woke up with the feeling that fluid was flowing just below her skin. Often black or blue hair like fibres protruded from her skin, she said. ‘I thought I had been exposed to asbestos.
“'I thought I was having asbestos fibres come out of my skin. I was pulling long, thin, small hair-like fibres that were extremely sharp that could literally pierce through my fingernails,’ Drottar said. In addition to the feeling of bugs and the fibres, Dr Drottar also suffered from severe depression, chronic fatigue and a weakened immune system. As a result, she had to give up her family practice, she said. She believes the cases of Morgellons being reported across the country are just the tip of the iceberg.”
Microbiologist, Dr Randy Wymore of Oklahoma State University in Tulsa, is also research director for the Morgellon’s Foundation. He has researched this mysterious disease and is convinced it is real. “I feel terrible for them, because they are not crazy. They’re sick and we need to figure out what’s going on.”
Researchers have suggested that another possible vector for Morgellon’s disease could be through skin contact with genetically engineered cotton. Is transgenic cotton so altered that it could possibly ‘inoculate’ the person it is in contact with and initiate the disease? It seems it could be especially true where the seams of clothing rub more vigorously on the skin.
The genetic engineering of textile components like cotton is well advanced.[v] High performance bioactive fibres are incorporated into clothing from such sources as transgenic cotton and potentially other transgenic plants. The development and commercialisation of products such as these has been carried out with the consent of the US Government via the National Textile Centre, which is part of the US Department of Agriculture.

Or is Morgellon’s disease a casualty of nanotechnology?
Some researchers claim there is evidence indicating that Morgellon’s disease may be associated with the development of nanotechnology, in particular nano-fibres. Using nanotechnology to produce cotton-like fabric is advanced. Who has not seen or purchased ‘micro-fibre’ cleaning or face cloths, duvet inners?
Nanotechnology is also now finding extensive uses in food production. Such uses as nanoencapsulated flavour enhancers, nanosized powders to increase absorption of nutrients or stave off rancidity. In Australia, for instance, nanocapsules are used to add Omega-3 fatty acids to one of the country’s most popular brands of white bread.
Fibre samples taken from the skin of a Morgellon’s sufferer would not burn until they reached almost 1000oC. Under the electron microscope, the fibres appear not to be organic. They have no eukaryotic cells, no cell membrane, which indicates that they are not a parasite. Could they be some form of nano-machine? Intensive research by Dr Hilgegarde Staninger of Integrative Health International at Lakewood, California, discovered some initially disturbing data. Morgellons appears to be a communicable nanotechnology invasion of human tissue in the form of self-assembling, self-replicating nanotubes, nanowires, and/or nanoarrays with sensors.
Other nano-configurations connected with the disease may even carry genetically engineered and spliced DNA or RNA. The nano-machines that are suggested to precipitate Morgellon’s disease appear to thrive in alkaline pH conditions and may use the body’s biological energy systems for power. Morgellons has been found in all body fluids, orifices and even hair follicles, and it is believed that it may routinely achieve total body systemic penetration.
The paper[vi] presented by Dr Hildegarde Staninger, Industrial Toxicologist to the NREP Annual Conference in Nashville, TN on 18 October 2006, included the following. Morgellons - a disease in which individuals have the growth of fibres from their skin that burn at 927oC and do not melt.[vii] A private study to determine the chemical and biological composition of these fibres has shown that the fibres’ outer casing is made up of high-density polyethylene fibre (HDPE). The fibre material is used commonly in the manufacture of fibre optics. There is no history of the individual in that industry or coming into contact with this material. It was further determined that this material is used throughout the bio-nanotechnology world as a compound to encapsulate a viral protein envelope, which is composed of a viron (1/150th times smaller than a virus) with DNA, RNA, RNAi (mutated RNA) or RNAsi linear or ring plasmids for specific functions.[viii] [ix] Toxicological pathology identification of tissue biopsies from an individual diagnosed with Morgellons revealed the presence of continual silica or glass tubules with the presence of silicone.[x]
It must be noted that the core toxicological effects of silicone alone have been demonstrated throughout the breast implant industry and litigation cases.[xi] [xii] Furthermore, silicone cannot make silica, but silica or silica bicarbonate can make silicone through natural cellular interaction in a biological system. The subject did not have breast implants or any other implant or silicon glue injections.

Despite the medical scepticism in some mainstream medical circles, the US government is taking Morgellon’s disease seriously because of pressure from sufferers and the Morgellon’s Research Foundation.
As a result, the CDC (Centres for Disease Control) has budgeted nearly US$1 million in the next two years for Morgellons research and is undertaking the first major epidemiological study of what it is calling an “unexplained dermopathy.” But isn’t this a clear case of the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff? Surely safety regulations for GE, nanotechnology and a host of other technological wonders should have been in place before we “lit the fuse” and let it go.
There are currently in excess of 10,000 US patients and their families affected by the symptoms of Morgellon’s disease. The symptoms have been reported in every US state and in fifteen other countries around the globe. CDC experts in a variety of fields - from epidemiology, environmental health, dermatology, chronic diseases, infectious diseases, and pathology to mental health - will be participating in an all-out drive to find the cause of this appalling disease. Whatever that is, Morgellen’s disease would seem to be a ticking time bomb - one that needs defusing very fast.
Robert Anderson BSc (Hons), PhD (4 February 1942 to 5 December 2008)
Robert Anderson was a Trustee of Physicians and Scientists for Global Responsibility (formerly Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Genetics) He authored The Final Pollution: Genetic Apocalypse, Exploding the Myth of Genetic Engineering and several other publications on environmental, scientific, health and social justice issues.
View his lectures on this website.
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[ii] Strieber, W. (2007). Skin Disease Might be Linked to GM Food.
[iii] Stagman, M. (2006). GMO Disease Epidemics: Bt-cotton Fibre Disease. Retrieved from
[iv] Porter, L. (2006). Strange sickness: Mystery disease horror story. Retrieved from
[vii] Twietmeyer, Ted. Is Morgellons Disease Caused by Chemtrail Spraying? May 14, 2006
[viii] Staninger, Hildegarde. Private Funded Independent Study on the Identification of Chemical and Biological Composition of Fibers from Moregellon Diagnosed Patients. Integrative Health International, LLC. Lakewood, CA © October 5, 2006. Laboratory Report: Fiber made of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE).
[ix] Leicester. Virus Replication. Microbiology @ Leicester: virology:
Virus replication. Updated: October
[x] Karjoo, M.D., Rahim and Hildegarde Staninger, Ph.D. Toxicological Pathology Evaluation of Tissue Biopsy Specimens of a Moregellon Patient. Pending publication American College of Pathology. © 2006-2007.
[xi] Kendell, Pamela. Torn Illusions: One Woman's Tragic Experience with the Silicone Conspiracy. New Horizon Press. Far Hills, New Jersey. © 1994
[xii] Karjoo, M.D., Rahim. U.S. Silicon Breast Implant Studies. American Medical Diagnostic Laboratories, Inc. Santa Ana, CA. © 1994