GM and non-GM pig diets

Researchers in Denmark are preparing to carry out comparative feed studies to investigate the real world impact of GM soya in a batch of production pigs. The two 100-strong groups will have a diet of barley and wheat, with GM soya for the control group and non-GM for the test group.

© Danish Agriculture & Food Council

The test period is fairly short, since the pigs will be aged about six months at slaughter, when they will weigh around 110kg. A longer study involving breeding animals is not envisaged until the current project has been evaluated, lead researcher Niels Kjeldsen told ARC.

The study will focus exclusively on the GM and non-GM aspects of the diet. Asked about glyphosate residues in the grain fed to each group, Kjeldsen replied: “If possible, we will include organic produce grain (non-glyphosate grain) in the trial.”

At the end of the trial, researchers will check for stomach ulcers in the white part of the stomach. The full range of analyses to be carried out has yet to be finalised, but will not include livestock management factors such as daily weight gain or feed conversion.

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Peter Crosskey is based in the UK.