GM Food Safe, Animal Study Suggests … Or Does It?

There is something afoot, Mr. Watson. Conflicting tales of great proportion. Information is being posted on the web about the results of a 3 year study on the adverse affects of Bt maize on pigs. These articles are claiming that the study had no adverse health effects in the pigs, please see below.

“A three year feeding study has shown no adverse health effects in pigs fed genetically modified (GM) maize. The maize, which is a Bt-maize bred for its insect resistant properties, was sourced from Spain.” ~Science Daily

The research team conducted short-term (31 days), medium-term (110 days) and generational pig feeding studies where the health of piglets of sows fed Bt-maize is measured. No adverse effects were observed, suggesting that feeding Bt-maize to pigs of different ages is safe. ~Alpha Galileo Foundation

In the Cambridge Journals: British Journal of Nutrition’s report of the study on the other hand, the findings are quite the opposite. In the official study “Effects of short-term feeding of Bt MON810 maize on growth performance, organ morphology and function in pigs”, the following results were found:

“Male weanling pigs (n 32) with a mean initial body weight of 7·5 kg and a mean weaning age of 28 d were used in a 31 d study to investigate the effects of feeding GM (Bt MON810) maize on growth performance, intestinal histology and organ weight and function.

“At weaning, the pigs were fed a non-GM starter diet during a 6 d acclimatisation period. The pigs were then blocked by weight and litter ancestry and assigned to diets containing 38·9 % GM (Bt MON810) or non-GM isogenic parent line maize for 31 d. Body weight and feed disappearance were recorded on a weekly basis (n 16/treatment), and the pigs (n 10/treatment) were killed on day 31 for the collection of organ, tissue and blood samples.

GM maize-fed pigs consumed more feed than the control pigs during the 31 d study (P < 0·05) and were less efficient at converting feed to gain during days 14–30 (P < 0·01). "The kidneys of the pigs fed GM maize tended to be heavier than those of control pigs (P = 0·06); however, no histopathological changes or alterations in blood biochemistry were evident.

“Small intestinal morphology was not different between treatments. However, duodenal villi of GM maize-fed pigs tended to have fewer goblet cells/μm of villus compared with control pigs (P = 0·10).

“In conclusion, short-term feeding of Bt MON810 maize to weaned pigs resulted in increased feed consumption, less efficient conversion of feed to gain and a decrease in goblet cells/μm of duodenal villus. There was also a tendency for an increase in kidney weight, but this was not associated with changes in histopathology or blood biochemistry. The biological significance of these findings is currently being clarified in long-term exposure studies in pigs.”

Ok, so this study has proven that the Bt maize increases kidney weight, increases food consumption, less efficient digestion and reduces mucus production. Makes me really wonder who is not telling the truth.

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