World Exclusive: Evidence of GMO Harm in Pig Study

Posted on Jun 11 2013 - 3:20pm by Sustainable Pulse

A groundbreaking new study [1] shows that pigs were harmed by the consumption of feed containing genetically modified (GM) crops.

Press release from Sustainable Pulse ( and GMWatch (

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 the GM diet. The research results were striking and statistically significant.

Find a clear summary of the study here

Find the full paper here

Lead researcher Dr Judy Carman, adjunct associate professor at Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia,[2] said: “Our findings are noteworthy for several reasons. First, we found these results in real on-farm conditions, not in a laboratory, but with the added benefit of strict scientific controls that are not normally present on farms.

Find all the background on this study and on Dr. Judy Carman here:

“Second, we used pigs. Pigs with these health problems end up in our food supply. We eat them.

“Third, pigs have a similar digestive system to people, so we need to investigate if people are also getting digestive problems from eating GM crops.

“Fourth, 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. Yet no food regulator anywhere in the world requires a safety assessment for the possible toxic effects of mixtures. Regulators simply assume that they can’t happen.

“Our results provide clear evidence that regulators need to safety assess GM crops containing mixtures of GM genes, regardless of whether those genes occur in the one GM plant or in a mixture of GM plants eaten in the same meal, even if regulators have already assessed GM plants containing single GM genes in the mixture.”

The new study lends scientific credibility to anecdotal evidence from farmers and veterinarians, who have for some years reported reproductive and digestive problems in pigs fed on a diet containing GM soy and corn.[3]

Iowa-based farmer and crop and livestock advisor Howard Vlieger, one of the coordinators of the study, said: “For as long as GM crops have been in the feed supply, we have seen increasing digestive and reproductive problems in animals. Now it is scientifically documented.

“In my experience, farmers have found increased production costs and escalating antibiotic use when feeding GM crops. In some operations, the livestock death loss is high, and there are unexplained problems including spontaneous abortions, deformities of new-born animals, and an overall listlessness and lack of contentment in the animals.

“In some cases, animals eating GM crops are very aggressive. This is not surprising, given the scale of stomach irritation and inflammation now documented. I have seen no financial benefit to farmers who feed GM crops to their animals.”

Gill Rowlands, a farmer based in Pembrokeshire, Wales who is also a member of the campaign group GM-Free Cymru, said: “This is an animal welfare issue. Responsible farmers and consumers alike do not want animals to suffer. We call for the rapid phase-out of all GMOs from animal feed supplies.”

Claire Robinson of the campaign group GMWatch said: “Several UK supermarkets recently abandoned their GM-free animal feed policies, citing lack of availability of non-GM feed. We call on the public to visit the new citizens’ action website, where they can quickly and easily send an email to the supermarkets asking them to ensure their suppliers secure certified GM-free animal feed. This will mean placing advance orders for GM-free soy from countries like Brazil.”

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Study details

The research was conducted by collaborating investigators from two continents and published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Organic Systems. The feeding study lasted more than five months, the normal commercial lifespan for a pig, and was conducted in the US. The pigs were slaughtered at the usual slaughter age of over 5 months, after eating the diets for their entire commercial lifespan.

168 newly-weaned pigs in a commercial piggery were fed either a typical diet incorporating GM soy and corn, or else (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 the 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 GMO feed mix was a commonly used mix. The GM and non-GM diets contained the same amount of soy and corn, except that the GM diet contained a mixture of three GM genes and their protein products, while the control (non-GM) diet had equivalent non-GM ingredients. Of the three GM proteins in the GM diet, one made a crop resistant to being sprayed with the herbicide Roundup, while two were insecticides.


Claire Robinson, GMWatch, UK: [email protected] To phone within UK: 0752 753 6923. To phone outside UK: +44 752 753 6923

Dr Judy Carman, Adelaide, Australia

Email: [email protected]

Mr Howard Vlieger, Maurice, Iowa

Email: [email protected]



1. Judy A. Carman, Howard R. Vlieger, Larry J. Ver Steeg, Verlyn E. Sneller, Garth W. Robinson, Catherine A. Clinch-Jones, Julie I. Haynes, John W. Edwards (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. Open access full text:

2. Dr Judy Carman, BSc (Hons) PhD MPH MPHAA; Epidemiologist and Biochemist; Director, Institute of Health and Environmental Research, Adelaide, Australia; Adjunct Associate Professor, Health and the Environment, School of the Environment, Adelaide, Australia

3. For example:

Farmer interviews in the 2012 film, Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives, directed by Jeffrey Smith

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Sustainable Pulse is a global news outlet covering sustainable agriculture, GMOs and pesticides.

56 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Anonymous June 11, 2013 at 17:59 - Reply

    Teachers who work with children on the autism spectrum have told me that digestive disorders are quite common — “leaky gut syndrome” –and it’s interesting the behavior of the animals is anti-social. There have been other GMO fed animal studies that seem eerily like autism in behavior and stomach disorders.

  2. Gerry Buck June 11, 2013 at 21:01 - Reply

    And yet, the officials in charge of food safety here in the States turn a blind eye to findings such as these.
    Reports from the EU have tied GM crops to animal issues for the last few years, and still the FDA and the USDA ignore them.
    Makes you wonder why; doesn’t it?

    • Rachel Anon June 11, 2013 at 21:52 - Reply

      We know why. Monsanto basically runs the FDA and the government, they don’t care about health one drop.

    • annonymous June 11, 2013 at 23:15 - Reply

      ya, its called population control…from a government that is much like China and Russia…not hard to figure out

      • Kris June 28, 2013 at 23:40 - Reply

        I don’t think it’s population control that is the motivator here. I think it is purely profit motivated. Money is made when GM products are sold, and money is made when people need medical treatment for their ever expanding list of illnesses that result from an unhealthy diet. Our population is continuously growing. We are also increasingly ill. It’s a win-win for the convoluted food and medical industries.

  3. Laura Campbell June 11, 2013 at 22:36 - Reply

    This is no surprise and I am sure that Monsanto with it’s hired scientists will find a way to dispute this. They have billions of dollars to dispute anything that is put out there to confuse the public. They also have their many supposedly independent websites that they have ready to go to dispute anything against them. The machine is oiled up and ready to roll out disinformation. They will never, ever admit they are wrong because then they will have to pay up to the american public. It’s no coincidence this stuff is all coming out now. They knew it was coming and that is why they passed the Monsanto Protection Act.

  4. Bob Phelps June 12, 2013 at 05:07 - Reply

    When assessing the safety of new genetically manipulated and irradiated ‘fresh’ fruits and vegetables, Australian regulator Food Standards Australia New Zealand’s (FSANZ) policy (as reconfirmed) is to only assess chemical analysis data supplied by the applicants. If the data is deemed similar enough to that from conventional foods, the GM or irradiated product is judged to be ‘substantially equivalent’ and the new food as safe as the ordinary one. FSANZ has never rejected an application under Food Standards 1.5.2 and 1.5.3.

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