Crop Biotech Update

Effects of Feeds with GM Maize on Weanling Pigs

December 2, 2011

The use of GM plants in animal feed has been increasing together with the adoption of biotech crops worldwide. However, this increase in usage of GM crops for feed of meat and milk-producing animals has also led to public concern due to their perceived risks to human health. This led Maria Walsh of the Animal and Grassland Research and Innovation Centre in Ireland and colleagues to assess the effect of feeding GM maize (MON810) on the immune responses and growth of weanling pigs. They also traced the fate of the transgenic DNA and protein in the different internal organs of the pigs.

One group of pigs were fed with diet containing GM maize and the other group were fed with non-GM maize counterpart serving as the control. The researchers observed some alterations in the immune responses of the pigs, however these were not found to be significant. The growth of the pigs was not affected by feeding GM maize. The scientists found no evidences of cry1Ab or gene translocation to the organs and blood of weaning pigs.

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