People who took messenger RNA vaccine against covid did not become ‘transhuman’

Content verified: Video circulating on social networks shows a man with a supposed document from the Supreme Court of the United States, stating that whoever received messenger RNA vaccine suffers an alteration in the DNA and is no longer considered human.

The video that circulates on platforms such as TikTok, Facebook and Telegram in which a man claims that, according to a document from the Supreme Court of the United States, people who have been immunized with messenger RNA vaccine suffer changes in their DNA, become “ transhumans” and are now considered government patented goods.

The document presented by the video’s author is, in fact, a decision by the US court, but it is not related to the pandemic and does not mention vaccines, as the fake video suggests. The text was published in 2013, after a unanimous decision by the Supreme Court ruling that human genes cannot be patented, but that artificially created DNA can be claimed as intellectual property. The decision came after biotechnology company Myriad Genetics claimed ownership of two genes linked to ovarian and breast cancer.

In the video, the author invents data to attack vaccines, but immunizations against covid-19 are effective and safe, according to several health authorities, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control ( CDC) of the United States.

Wanted, the video’s author insisted that he did not report false information. Contact was also made with the channel that distributed the content with translation into Portuguese, but there was no return until the publication of this text.

Comprova deems false content that has been invented or edited to change its original meaning and deliberately disclosed to spread a lie.

How do we check?

Searching for the words “transhuman” and “RNA” on Facebook, the report found the video shared on the Holistic Health Through Nature page (in Portuguese, Holistic Health Through Nature), a page that shares, among other things, anti-vaccination publications. In it, unlike the version that Comprova received on the Telegram, the name of the author of the video appears.

Contact was made with the profile of the video’s author on Facebook and with the page that subtitled the video in Portuguese that went viral on Telegram.

To confirm that the file cited was original, the report sought the document mentioned in the video on the US Supreme Court website, but found that the “Court Opinions” page only shows files from 2014 to 2021. the document is real, a Google search was performed, which found the text cited in the video.

With the Google translation tool, it was possible to read the full Court document in Portuguese and verify that its publication took place in June 2013.

Finally, the report consulted the CDC website to check information on vaccine safety.

Comprova performed this verification based on scientific information and official data on the new coronavirus and covid-19 available on October 13, 2021.

Verification

The decision

The document cited by the video’s author – who even publishes the link to the text on the Supreme Court’s website – is a decision published in June 2013 by the body.

The decision referred to the case in which the company Myriad Genetics claimed ownership of two genes linked to ovarian and breast cancer. Contrary to what the author of the video claims, the court does not allow human DNA to be patented.

“A segment of DNA of natural origin is a product of nature and cannot be patented simply because it has been isolated, but complementary DNA can be patented because it is not produced naturally”, says the second page of the document.

In an interview with the AFP Fact Check about a post with similar content, researcher Jennifer Piatt, from the Center for Law and Public Health Policy at Arizona State University, says that “the claim made on social media is a complete distortion of how vaccines work and what the court says.” According to her, “first of all, there is no possibility of altering human DNA through vaccines” and, by stating that the Court has ruled that people can be patented, “they (the misinformers) are looking at it from a perspective like it is present in the decision of the court”.

Vaccine safety

In the video that is going viral, the author emphasizes the issue of the vaccine, suggesting that people should not take the “stupid minced” – that is, the immunizing agent against covid-19. But, in the document cited by him there is no relationship with any vaccine or even mention of changes caused by vaccines in human DNA.

According to the CDC, “vaccines are safe and effective” and everyone over the age of 12 is eligible for immunization.

In the vaccine Q&A area of ​​the agency’s website, there is a question about product safety. The answer: “Yes, covid-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Hundreds of millions of people in the United States received vaccines under the most intense safety monitoring in the country’s history.”

Specifically on messenger RNA vaccines, the CDC states: “they are a new type of vaccine to protect against infectious diseases” and “the benefit of them, like all vaccines, is that vaccinated people gain protection without ever having to run the risk of serious consequences of falling ill from covid-19”.

As several contents discrediting these immunizers have already gone viral, there is, on the agency’s website, the information that “they do not affect or interact with the DNA in any way”.

The author of the video

On his Facebook profile, Ben Barlow publishes anti-vaccine and anti-mask content. It also continues to argue that the US elections, which won Democrat Joe Biden, sworn in in January, were rigged.

At least eight content published by him since August 2020 were marked as “false information”, “partially false” or “no context” by Facebook. When contacted, Barlow did not respond to the source of the false information he shares in the video. He insisted he didn’t divulge falsehoods and called the vaccine a “forced poison they’re pushing us.”

Why do we investigate?

In its fourth phase, Comprova checks suspicious content about the pandemic, public policies of the federal government and elections. The video verified here had over 45,000 views and over 2,400 interactions as of October 11th.

The content verified here tries to mislead and cause misinformation regarding the safety of vaccines, which have already been scientifically proven as the main method against the coronavirus. Furthermore, by citing that it “causes changes in human DNA”, the video can generate panic in the population, increasing the number of people who do not want to take the vaccine out of fear.

Other vehicles checked similar content, such as AFP Fact Check and Newschecker. Just in the last few days, Comprova classified as a misleading post by Congresswoman Bia Kicis that distorted CDC director’s interview to criticize vaccines and “health passport” and video of presenter with stylist saying that the number of infarcted people in Israel did not grow after immunization .

False, for Comprova, is content invented or edited to change its original meaning and deliberately disclosed to spread a lie.