GMO feed trial in pigs raises concerns about safety of GMO food for humans

12th June 2013

A new study by a team of 8 scientists from Australia and the US has shown that pigs were harmed by the consumption of feed containing genetically modified crops [1]. GM-fed females had on average a 25% heavier uterus than non-GM-fed females, a possible indicator of disease that requires further investigation. Also, the level of severe inflammation in stomachs was markedly higher in pigs fed on a GM diet. The research results were striking and statistically significant. Lead researcher, Dr. Judy Carmen, said these findings were particularly significant as the feed was made up of  ‘a mixture of crops containing three GM genes and the GM proteins that these genes produce.’ She added, ‘ Yet no food regulator in the world requires a safety assessment for the possible toxic effects of these mixtures.’

Sustainable Food Trust, Chief Executive, Patrick Holden said: ‘This is another in a series of recent studies that have identified negative health impacts in animals consuming GM crops. As with the study by Professor Gilles-Eric Séralini and colleagues in 2012 which found high rates of cancer and other problems in rats fed GM maize for two years, the typical life of a rat, Dr Carmen’s work where pigs were fed GM crops for 22.7 weeks, the typical life of an intensively reared pig, raises serious concerns which could also have implications for humans consuming GM crops, since pigs are physiologically similar to humans. As such we feel there should be no further moves to introduce GM crops into the UK, or GM food into the human food chain until these issues have been fully investigated by independent scientists [2].

For further information contact: Patrick Holden 07774 846 858 –

Richard Young 01386 853320/ 07919 194235 –

The Sustainable Food Trust, 38 Richmond Street, Bristol, BS3 4TQ

The Sustainable Food Trust is a registered charity

Notes for Editors

[1] Carmen et al. 2013. A long-term toxicology study on pigs fed a combined genetically modified (GM) soy and GM maize diet’, Journal of Organic Systems 8 (1):38-54

[2] Patrick Holden debated these issues today at the Cereals 2013 event near Lincoln with Peter Kendall, President of the National Farmers Union

[3] In addition to concerns about the possible safety of GM crops the Sustainable Food Trust also wishes to see a comprehensive evaluation of the impact of GM crops on agricultural sustainability and food security. While GM crops have been promoted as the only way to fed the growing global population available evidence to date indicates that GM yields are no higher than yields from non-GM crops; that GM crops are less not more resilient than non-GM crops during extremes of weather and that their cultivation leads to significantly more (not less) pesticide use.

GM diet can lead to disease in pigs

Photography by IRRI Images

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