1.19—Animals Graze Where There’s Feed
Animals don’t discriminate against GM crops
Analysis of Peer-Reviewed Research:
Urban legends abound in the media and Internet. They are actually fun to tell or hear and propagate very quickly. They are usually undocumented but plausible. There is no controlled scientific study that shows a preference by animals for non-GM. We will not comment further except to say Smith must be desperate to repeat such stories as proof that there is something wrong with GM crops.
1. Many myths can be found in newspapers. None of the anecdotal observations reported here have been scientifically verified. One should always be cautious of “urban legends.”
2. Animals could conceivably prefer non-GM fields. Animals may prefer fields with poor weed control and more groundcover (as might occur with non-herbicide-tolerant soybean) or poor crop performance that results in more fallen or non-harvested ears for them to eat.
3. GM crops appear identical to non-GM. The category of being “genetically modified” is an abstract one which is not connected to any shared physical attribute of the foods reported in these stories. The crops taste, smell, look and feel the same. In none of the over 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers that report safety studies with GM crops do investigators report rejection of GM containing diets.
4. GM crops are identical in nutrition and safety. Scientific studies in poultry, cattle, swine and 10 other species demonstrate equivalent nutritional and feed value for genetically modified animal feeds.
Eyewitness reports: Animals avoid GMOs
- When given a choice, several animals avoid eating GM food.
- In farmer-run tests, cows and pigs repeatedly passed up GM corn.
- Animals that avoided GM food include cows, pigs, geese, squirrels, elk, deer, raccoons, mice, and rats.
In section 1.19, Genetic Roulette provides a survey of difficult –to-verify stories about animals not eating GM food sources.