A review in the Journal of Animal Science has found that feeding livestock diets containing genetically engineered crops has no impact on the health or productivity of those animals.
The article documents 30 years worth of livestock-feeding studies, representing more than 100 billion animals, finding that the performance and health of food-producing animals fed GE crops are comparable with those of animals fed non-GE crops.
Since their introduction in 1996, GE feed crops have become an increasing component of livestock diets. Today, more than 95 percent of U.S. food-producing animals consume feed containing GE crops. Studies that involve feeding GE crops to livestock are used to evaluate the safety of these crops.
In the review, posted online September 2 in the Journal of Animal Science, Alison Van Eenennaam, Cooperative Extension Specialist in Animal Biotechnology in the Department of Animal Science at the University of California-Davis, and research assistant Amy Young examine feeding data from 1983 (13 years before GE crops were introduced) through 2011 (when GE feed use exceeded 90 percent).
The review also examines the composition of products derived from animals fed diets containing GE feeds. "No study has revealed any differences in the nutritional profile of animal products derived from GE-fed animals," state the authors.