GE as good as non-GE feed

Although the use of genetically engineered (GE) feedstuff has caused regulatory shake-ups, trade-disruptions and an escalation in non-GE and organic feed prices in many countries, a new study has found there is no difference in the health or performance of animals receiving GE feed or the nutritional make-up of the meat, milk, eggs or other products derived from these animals.

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The findings by Dr Alison Eenennaam and Amy Young from the Department of Animal Science at the University of California were based on the evaluation of public available livestock-feeding studies since 1983 and represented more than 100 billion animals. Their review was published in the Journal of Animal Science.

According to the review, food producing animals globally consume around 80% of genetically engineered biomass. Of the 9 billion food producing animals in the US, about 95% receive GE feed since it was introduced in 1996.

The study foresees increased trade disruptions between countries that approve and countries that don’t approve the use of GE foodstuffs as breeding technology is improved and new GE-cultivars are released. To prevent this disruption of trade, a call is made for greater international harmonisation of regulatory frameworks and governance of breeding techniques.

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