A new, peer-reviewed study has been released in the June 2013 Journal of Organic Systems detailing adverse effects of genetically engineered (GE) feed on pigs. Center for Food Safety has long advocated for more robust safety testing prior to introducing GE foods into the food supply. Currently, no GE safety testing is required in the U.S. The long-term study revealed that pigs fed a GE diet suffered higher rates of severe stomach inflammation and had on average heavier uteri. The findings were biologically and statistically significant and mirror what many farmers have been reporting for years. The study was performed over the course of five years by independent researchers in Australia and the U.S.
“This study raises serious questions about the long-term health impacts of genetically engineered foods,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety.
“It is grossly negligent that neither the companies nor the government have conducted these rigorous types of studies in the 15 years that GE products have been on the market. Until further long-term, independent studies are done, the public are unwittingly participating in the safety testing of these products.”
According to the study’s authors:
The research was conducted by collaborating investigators from two continents and published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Organic Systems. The feeding study lasted more than five months and was conducted in the US. 168 newly-weaned pigs in a commercial piggery were fed either a typical diet incorporating GM soy and corn (2), or else (in the control group) an equivalent non-GM diet.
The pigs were reared under identical housing and feeding conditions. They were slaughtered over 5 months later, at their usual slaughter age, after eating the diets for their entire commercial lifespan. They were then autopsied by qualified veterinarians who worked “blind”—they were not informed which pigs were fed on the GM diet and which were from the control group.
What little study has been conducted on the safety of GE foods has largely been limited to industry funded studies involving rats for only 90 days. In addition to the studies being inadequate in their rigor, the data is tightly controlled by the companies under the pretense of Confidential Business Information, limiting external review. Some independent scientists have conducted studies over the years, but much more is needed.
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