Press Release: New Long-Term GMO Study Findings

 
MEDIA CONTACT:
Howard Vlieger
Board Member, Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance
(712) 567-4151 / studentofthesoil@mtcnet.net
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 

New Long-Term GMO Study Findings:

Animals Seriously Harmed by Eating Genetically Modified Crops

 
AUSTIN, Texas – June 12, 2013 – A ground-breaking study, “A long-term toxicology study on pigs fed a combined genetically modified (GM) soy and GM corn maize diet,” was published today by the peer-reviewed Journal of Organic Systems, Vol 8. No 1 (2013). The paper – co-authored by Dr. Judy Carman, Howard Vlieger, Dr. Larry Ver Steeg, Veryln Sneller, Dr. Garth Robinson, Dr. Kate Clinch-Jones, Dr. Julie Haynes, and Dr. John Edwards – shows that animals are harmed by the consumption of feed containing genetically modified (GM) crops.

“For as long as GM crops have been in the feed supply, we have seen increasing digestive and reproductive problems in animals,” explained Howard Vlieger, one of the initiators and coordinators of the study, a livestock farmer, and a Board member of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, which is a national non-profit organization based in Central Texas.

“Much of the previously anecdotal evidence from within the pig-farming industry is now scientifically documented and confirmed by this new study, linking the symptoms observed by farmers and veterinarians with obvious and statistically significant physiological damage in pigs. In my experience, farmers have experienced increased production costs and have seen escalating antibiotic use when feeding GM crops,” Vlieger added.

A group of Midwestern farmers collaborated with scientists from around the world to conduct a scientific study to see whether these stories were well founded. Pigs were chosen for the study because their digestive tracts are very similar to humans.

168 newly weaned pigs in a commercial piggery were fed either a typical diet incorporating GM soy and corn, or they were fed (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.

The research results were striking, showing that the weight of the uterus in GM-fed pigs was on average 25% higher than in the control group of pigs. Also, the level of severe inflammation in stomachs was markedly higher in pigs fed on the GM diet. These animals were 2.6 times more likely to get severe stomach inflammation than control pigs. These findings are both biologically significant and statistically significant.

Farmers have been seeing a reduced ability to conceive and higher rates of miscarriage in piggeries where sows have been fed on a GM diet, along with a reduction in the number of piglets born if boars were used for conception rather than artificial insemination. There is also evidence of higher rates of intestinal problems in pigs fed a GM diet, including inflammation of the stomach and small intestine, stomach ulcers, a thinning of intestinal walls and an increase in haemorrhagic bowel disease, where a pig can rapidly “bleed-out” from its bowel and die.

This is the first independent long-term feeding trial of GM to livestock that we are aware of. The results are deeply concerning for people who suffer from digestive problems, food allergies, or fertility challenges.

“Our findings are of huge significance for several reasons,” explained Dr. Judy Carman, the lead researcher. “First, we have found these results using real-world conditions that don’t occur in a laboratory. Second, we have used pigs. Pigs with these health problems end up in our food supply. We eat them. Also, pigs have a very similar digestive system to people, so we need to investigate if people are getting similar digestive problems from eating GM crops.”

Dr. Carman added, “Third, we found these adverse effects when we fed the animals a mixture of crops containing three GM genes and the GM proteins that these genes produce. That is, we observed the combined effects of these GM proteins on health. These proteins may be acting synergistically to cause these effects. Yet no food regulator requires a safety assessment for synergistic effects.”

The full study is available at www.farmandranchfreedom.org/gmo-harms-reproductive-and-digestive-health. For more information contact Howard Vlieger at studentofthesoil@mtcnet.net or Dr. Judy Carman at judycarman@ozemail.com.au.

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About Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance
Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA) is a national organization that supports independent family farmers and protects a healthy and productive food supply for American consumers. FARFA promotes common sense policies for local, diversified agricultural systems.