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GMO Feed is NOT Hurting Our Livestock, Say Researchers

Oct 13, 2014 12:13 PM EDT

In an overarching review of nearly three decades worth of livestock feed studies, researchers recently determined that regulated genetically engineered (GE) feed has no notable impact on the health or productivity of animals. These results dispute the claims of some organic farmers and anti-GMO activists, many of whom have stipulated that altered feed was harming animals and tainting our food.

Nature World News previously reported how a number of experts are staunch defenders of GMO (genetically modified organism) crops, arguing that we have been designer breeding - and thus modifying - domestic crops for centuries with little-to-no adverse effects.

However, a main concern has been that unnatural modification, such as genetic insertion, may lead to unforeseen consequences. The Institute for Repressible Technology and the American Academy of Environmental Medicine reported concerns that untested GMOs were harming and sterilizing grazing livestock in other parts of the world, and even regulated soy feed from the United Kingdom was leading to high rat mortality in labs.

But defenders of GMOs have argued that these are isolated experiments, often never officially published or conducted without follow-up. And despite these claims, 95 percent of all feed given to livestock in the United States is designated as GE.

Now, Gregory S. Lewis, the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Animal Science, recently decided to recruit some help in putting this debate to rest.

"I invited Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam to conduct a thorough review of the scientific literature and evaluate the effects of GE feed ingredients on the animals consuming those feeds," he explained in a recent release. "The scientific evidence indicates clearly that the health, wellbeing, and productivity of animals consuming GE feeds are at least comparable to those of animals consuming conventional feeds."

That was determined after Eenennaam and her team from the University of California-Davis assessed feeding data from 1983 through 2011, as found in peer-reviewed studies representing more than 100 billion healthy animals.

"No study has revealed any differences in the nutritional profile of animal products derived from GE-fed animals," the authors concluded.

Lewis added that he hopes this data can help some people keep a more open mind about GE crops, as they continue to feed the majority of the world both directly and as livestock feed.

The complete study is available via open access through the American Society of Animal Science.

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