GMO-Fed Pig Study Flawed; Headlines Deceiving

The Huffington Post headline this week screamed frighteningly at consumers on the topic of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), “Damning New Study Demonstrates Harm to Animals Raised on GMO Feed.”  Reuters also sought to raise  alarm with this headline, “Scientists Say New Study Shows Pigs Hurt by GMO Feed.” Both stories were referencing a recent study in which pigs were fed genetically modified (GMO) corn and soybeans. The outcome of the study, published in a somewhat obscure Australian publication called the Journal of Organic Systems, is up for debate. Because National Hog Farmer has a long-standing tradition of bringing our readers research-based information, we were a bit skeptical about the way the research was designed.

While the inflammatory headlines and worst-case-scenario reporting were enough to incite fear in the hearts of some consumers, National Hog Farmer staff have come to the same conclusion as other credible researchers that the science to support some of the conclusions seems to be seriously lacking in significant areas.

Food Safety News approached the topic in an article entitled, “Scientists Debate New Study on GMO-Fed Pigs.”  Food Safety News focused on the potential variance in nutritional composition between the GMO and non-GMO grain fed to the pigs in the study. Kent Bradford, director of the Seed Biotechnology Center at the University of California, Davis, told Food Safety News that the lack of a controlled feed-growing environment potentially calls the results of the study into question.  The researchers bought each type of feed from retail distributors, as opposed to growing the feed in a controlled environment.

Mark Hoofnagle, a doctor and defender of science-based research, addressed the research study in his Science Denialism blog.  Hoofnagle notes that the researchers behind the study appear to be active in anti-GMO advocacy groups, and quite possibly had an anti-GMO agenda. He suggests they may have been on a “fishing trip”  to find the results to support their stance. However, he also acknowledges that this study may point to the need for more research.  Hoofnagle says, “So what we have in this study is the first half of a valid study,  but no real hypothesis-driven research to confirm if this 1-in-20 result is real.” He says it is problematic that the researchers didn’t seek to further determine if  the effects could have been caused by the soy component or corn component of the diet. There are no follow up evaluations examining the possible other factors that could have led to stomach inflammation. “So far, one can only conclude that it’s just as likely that this result occurred by chance as it is to be an actual effect of feeding the pigs GMO corn and soybean meal.”

Hoofnagle says that answering for other potential causes and variables is just the first step in a real scientific investigation. “Given the levels of mold researchers measured on their GMO corn, it could have been a result of their source selling them moldy feed,  because the mold levels listed were much higher than are usually found on GMO crops,” he says.


Like what you’re reading? Subscribe to the National Hog Farmer Weekly Wrap Up newsletter and get the latest news delivered right to your inbox every week!


 “So, to summarize, in this paper the authors performed a large, non-specific screen for potential evidence of harm from GMO crops,” Hoofnagle continues. “Of the many analyses performed, one showed statistical significance for severe stomach inflammation on a pathology scale in the GMO group, but this effect rapidly-disappears if one group’s inflammation is based on broader categories. The clinical significance of this finding can only be determined by subsequent hypothesis- driven research into this potential effect, but it is equally likely this is a result of random chance.” 

Mark Lynas, author of “The God Species: How the Planet Can Survive the Age of Humans,” analyzed the research in a blog post entitled, “GMO Pigs Study—More Junk Science.” He says a co-author  of the paper actually has ownership in a firm that markets non-GMO grain. This same firm provided funding for the study.  When evaluating the study results, Lynas notes that 15% of the non-GMO-fed pigs had heart abnormalities, while only 6% of the GMO-fed pigs exhibited heart abnormalities. “Similarly, twice as many non-GMO-pigs as GMO-(fed) ones had a  liver problem.”   Lynas asks, “Why no headlines here?” He proposes that a more accurate headline could have read, “Pigs Fed Non-GMO Feed are 100% More Likely to Develop Heart and Liver Problems, Study Finds.”

National Hog Farmer’s December issue is devoted to reporting on credible, peer-reviewed research results that impact the swine industry. It sounds like this is a topic that is worthy of additional research. We will keep an eye on this issue and keep our readers informed of additional studies as they become available. Where do you stand on the use of GMO feedstuffs in pork production? Share your thoughts in the “Comments” section below, or email

You might also like:

Forego Hog Expansion Plans for Now

 Is Farrowing Crate Design a Constraint to Weaning Average?

USDA Report Downgrades Corn Crop

Discuss this Blog Entry 37

on Jun 14, 2014

I hope the information you provide in your articles that are useful to help others in dealing with the problems of bitterness, and that all feel relief after completing the problem.

and for that I also had an interesting info for my friends here from Cipto Junaedy with a good strategy to have knowledge about properties like this he expected us to be independent and the more authoritative because Mr Cipto Junaedy is a master of the property and many know the world Desain Rumah Minimalis and also My Otomotif

on Sep 19, 2014

People will give support to everything that positive. But there are always any contras for it but maybe not in a large amount.
rohana wheels rc 22

on Oct 25, 2014

Just as usual, some studies have the need for more future researches prior to the conclusions is usually realiable and held for years of time. That just isn't always true of training. Skull jewelry

on Nov 5, 2014

I think it is quite expected that what we put into our body will actually have a huge impact on many factors like health and even mood. Thus, the same cycle applies to animals too, in this case, the pigs. That is why it is quite an interesting read to know how the feeds up in storage are slowly affecting the end consumer's behaviour which is the pigs' mood and end performance and eventually how they change to adapt to the surroundings as a result of this process.
Agen Texas dan Domino Online Indonesia Terpercaya | Master Agen Judi Bola Online Terbaik dan Terpercaya di Indonesia | Agent Judi Situs Online Teraman Dan Terpercaya Indonesia | bola pelangi agen bola sbobet ibcbet casino 338a tangkas togel online indonesia terpercaya | Agen Judi Bola Online, Agen Judi Casino Online Indonesia Terpercaya | Agen Ibcbet | SBOBET | Agen Bola Terpercaya | Agen Bola | Taruhan Bola | Judi Bola Terpercaya | situs judi online terbaik terpercaya

on Feb 14, 2014

Easily, the article is actually the best topic on this registry related issue. I fit in with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your next updates. Just saying thanks will not just be sufficient, for the fantasti c lucidity in your writing. I will instantly grab your rss feed to stay informed of any updates.
xbox live gratuit

on Mar 21, 2014

Hello there! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site? I’m getting fed up of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m looking at options for another platform. I would be fantastic if you could point me in the direction of a good platform. mortgage broker calgary

on Mar 26, 2014

I agree with your blog and i will be back to check it more in the future so please keep up your work. michael kors outleti love your content & the way that you write.

on Mar 28, 2014

Thank you for posting such a great article! I found your website perfect for my needs. It contains wonderful and helpful posts. Keep up the good work! what does bubblegum casting do

on Apr 21, 2014

Once I thought about things like: why such information is for free here? Because when you write a book then at least on selling a book you get a percentage. Thank you and good luck on informing people more about it!

on Apr 23, 2014

So luck to come across your excellent blog. Your blog brings me a great deal of fun.. Good luck with the site. Dermatologia

on May 6, 2014

Tamil Nadu is prominent for its exotic wildlife species that are scattered in every corner of the state. Some of the major wildlife species are flora, fauna, avian- fauna, reptiles, insects, mammals etc. All such endangered wildlife species might be found in famous national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. Computer Repair

on May 29, 2014

Really great post, Thank you for sharing This knowledge.Excellently written article, if only all bloggers offered the same level of content as you, the internet would be a much better place. Please keep it up!
Profile links

on Jul 15, 2014

Thanks for a very interesting blog. What else may I get that kind of info written in such a perfect approach? I’ve a undertaking that I am simply now operating on, and I have been at the look out for such info.

on Aug 5, 2014

wow this good but ,I like your post and good pics may be any peoples not like because defrent mind all poeple ,

on Aug 20, 2014

You have done a great job. I will definitely dig it and personally recommend to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this site.
cheapest fifa 15 coins

on Aug 28, 2014

Once I thought about things like: why such information is for free here? Because when you write a book then at least on selling a book you get a percentage. Thank you and good luck on informing people more about it!
led spotlight

on Sep 27, 2014

The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship's mission is to provide programs that inspire young people from low-income communities to stay in school, to recognize business opportunities and to plan for successful futures. You're doing an amazing job! money site

on Oct 5, 2014

Simply put your blog post to my favorite blog list, I notify that this is the first place where I find issues and topics I've been searching for mediainforms gadgetism myreviewgadget ms-access-guide

on Oct 16, 2014

This is a very good tips especially to those new to blogosphere, brief and accurate information… Thanks for sharing this one. A must read article. burlington furniture

on Oct 16, 2014

The internet is bogged down with bogus blogs with no real message but the post was fantastic and well worth the read.Thank you for sharing this with me. backlinks

on Oct 24, 2014

I am happy to visit here to get the latest information from your blog and increase my knowledge.

when turning visit our web deign yes, we would love if you want to be friends with us.
Pancake Durian
and you to must visit jual sepatu murah

Kami juga saat ini melayani jasa penulis artikel blog indonesia paling murah di kaskus.

Serta anda juga mesti membaca ini harga hp samsung terbaru dan artikel unik nyata aneh gratis ini.
resep cara membuat pancake. sepatu online

on Oct 24, 2014

So far, one can only conclude that it’s just as likely that this result occurred by chance as it is to be an actual effect of feeding the pigs GMO corn and soybean meal.” moviestarplanet hack 2014

on Oct 24, 2014

Also new this year is FutureCare, a pavilion presented in cooperation with IT industry association BITKOM. The 350-m2-area will feature innovations in IT-based healthcare. Attendees will be able to take guided tours to learn about electronic health records, doctor-to-doctor communication systems, mobile healthcare devices and other electronic solutions telecharger minecraft gratuitement

on Oct 25, 2014

In the same way common, several research require more potential studies prior to findings could be realiable in addition to used for some time of energy. That's not constantly true needless to say. Best Reviews for Alaska Bear Hunting Lodge, click here

on Oct 28, 2014

Just as usual, some studies really need more future researches before the conclusions can be realiable and held for a long period of time. That is not always the case of course. Buy Diesel Engines

on Oct 29, 2014

In the same way normal, a number of studies require more future studies prior to the results is usually realiable as well as placed for some time of time. That isn't often the situation naturally. Best Reviews for Landscape Architect Seattle

on Oct 29, 2014

As normal, some research really need additional future studies prior to data may be realiable and also used for long periods of time. That isn't always the case naturally. Web Developer

on Oct 30, 2014

As regular, several reports have the need for much more foreseeable future studies prior to a results might be realiable in addition to placed for long periods of your energy. That is not generally the truth obviously. Kent WA Reverse Mortgage

on Oct 30, 2014

Just seeing that usual, some studies require more upcoming researches prior to the conclusions could be realiable along with held for years of occasion. That seriously isn't always the case of training course. Best Reviews for Gun magazines for sale

on Nov 11, 2014

Genetic engineering in plants such as corn and soybeans, it is one of the results of technology development in agriculture. However, this should be taken not to be one of the things that harm farmers. police handcuffs for sale

on Nov 11, 2014

The forage on the market free market it ought to be tested ahead of time. It is supposed that the actual corn and forage provide genetic engineering is just not dangerous if fond of farm animals like pigs, cows, and many others. undelete

on Nov 12, 2014

If indeed the corn and wheat is the result of genetic engineering cause farm animals die, this needs to be further traced by the parties concerned. In my opinion, this is one thing that could hurt farmers.

on Nov 24, 2014

The forage for sale free market it should be tested in advance. It is intended that the corn and forage yield genetic engineering is not dangerous if given to farm animals such as pigs, cows, etc.

on Nov 28, 2014

If in fact the ingrown toenail and wheat is a result of genetic executive cause plantation animals pass away, this has to be further traced from the parties involved. In my opinion, this is another thing that can hurt maqui berry farmers.

on Nov 28, 2014

Genetic engineering in plants for example corn and soybeans, it is among the results of engineering development in farming. However, this should be studied not to be among the things that hurt farmers.

Please or Register to post comments.

What's National Hog Farmer Blog?

Thoughts about the pork industry this week.

Blog Archive

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×