Study: Health concerns for pigs on GM feed
A recently published study claims that pigs fed a diet of genetically modified soybeans and corn had a higher rate of stomach inflammation than pigs fed non-GM feed.
The study, published in the Journal of Organic Systems, fed 168 isowean pigs either a mixed GM soy and GM corn diet or an equivalent non-GM diet in a longterm toxicology study of 22.7 weeks (the normal lifespan of a commercial pig from weaning to slaughter). Equal numbers of male and female pigs were present in each group.
The GM corn contained double and triple-stacked varieties. Feed intake, weight gain, mortality and blood biochemistry were measured. Organ weights and pathology were determined post-mortem.
There were no differences between pigs fed the GM and non-GM diets for feed intake, weight gain, mortality, and routine blood biochemistry measurements.
The GM diet was associated with gastric and uterine differences in pigs. GM-fed pigs had uteri that were 25% heavier than non-GM fed pigs. GM-fed pigs had a higher rate of severe stomach inflammation with a rate of 32% of GM-fed pigs compared to 12% of non-GM-fed pigs. The severe stomach inflammation was worse in GM-fed males compared to non-GM fed males by a factor of 4.0 and GM-fed females compared to non-GM fed females by a factor of 2.2.
The Biotechnology Industry Organisation (BIO) was quoted as saying it had only just reviewed the study, but questioned its findings.
“The majority of studies that are out there have shown no health issues. Most scientists have thought this was a settled issue,” said David Edwards, BIO’s director for animal biotechnology. “Is this looking at a valid scientific question or are we trying to denigrate an entire class of technology?”
Journal of Organic Systems
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