Long-Term Impacts of Feeding GM Crops to Livestock Evaluated

US - New research represents the longest-term monitoring of the health-impact of GM crops in history as it examines at 29 years of livestock productivity and health data from both before and after the introduction of GM crops into animal feed formulations, reports The US Grains Council.
calendar icon 29 September 2014
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Dr Alison Van Eenennaam and research assistant Amy E. Young completed the most comprehensive study of genetically modified (GM) crops ever, set to be published in the Journal of Animal Science after 1 October.

“The broiler information set is the most powerful because we looked at nine billion birds that were fed mostly GM crops,” Dr Van Eenennaam said. “There was improved feed-to-gain ratios and decreased age to market, which suggests that feeding GM crops did not having any detrimental effects to the birds’ health.”

The US Grains Council uses studies like this one to encourage policymakers around the world to develop biotechnology policies that are science-based, risk-appropriate and consistent. The new findings could have implications for the international marketplace as some countries continue to reject GM crops based on non-science based safety concerns.

“We are going to have more rejections (for unapproved biotech events) in the future and the potential for trade disruptions is going to increase,” Dr Van Eenennaam said. “This is going to increase the cost of food everywhere, which has real implications for food security.”

Asynchronous approvals result when countries approve biotech traits at different rates. Dr Van Eenennaam believes that the problem of asynchronous approvals will continue to grow as more GM crops, including those optimised for animal feed, are released for commercial use.

Click on the link below to hear from Dr Van Eenennaam about her study, the prevalence of GMOs in international trade and the impacts of asynchronous approvals on the global market.

Further Reading

You can listen to a podcast from the US Grains Council on this work by clicking here.

Charlotte Rowney

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