If livestock eat genetically modified grain, there will be GMOs in meat, milk and eggs.
GMOs have never been detected in milk, meat or eggs derived from animals fed GM feed.
(Ref. U of Cal. GE and Animal Feed)
It has been estimated that over 70 percent of harvested GMO crops are fed to food producing animals, making the world’s livestock populations the largest consumers of the current generation of GMO crops. However, GMOs have never been detected in food derived from animals fed GMO crops.
It’s important to understand that almost all the food that we (or animals) eat contains DNA and proteins. The DNA and proteins found in food, GMO and non-GMO, are processed by the digestive system in our gastrointestinal tract. During digestion, GMO and non-GMO DNA is broken down into the four nucleotides that make up all DNA, and/or into small nucleotide fragments. Similarly, proteins, again GMO and non-GMO, are broken down into one or a few of the 21 amino acids that exist in nature. Many studies have been conducted on the potential for GMO DNA or proteins to be transferred into animal tissue. No intact or immunologically reactive protein or DNA has been detected in animal tissue.
Therefore, as Alison Van Eenennaam, Ph.D., extension specialist in animal genomics and biotechnology at the University of California, Davis, explains, “Genetically engineered crops are digested by animals in the same way as conventional crops. Evidence to date strongly suggests that feeding livestock with genetically engineered crops is equivalent to feeding unmodified feed sources in terms of nutrient composition, digestibility and feeding value.” Additionally, Dr. Van Eenennaam states, “Genetically engineered DNA, or the novel proteins encoded therein, have never been detected in the milk, meat or eggs derived from animals fed genetically engineered feedstuffs. Several studies have documented that small fragments of plant-derived, but not genetically engineered, DNA can pass into the tissues of animals that consume the plants.”
GMOs are created to achieve a desired trait, such as resistance to a pest or tolerance to drought conditions. The 10 genetically modified crops available in the U.S. today include: alfalfa, apples, canola, corn (field and sweet), cotton, papaya, potatoes, soybeans, squash and sugar beets.
GM crops were created for:
- Insect resistance. This category of traits provides farmers with season-long protection against target pests, reduces the need for pesticide applications, and lowers input costs.
- Drought tolerance. GM crops that express drought tolerance have better moisture retention and can better endure drought conditions without the need for additional irrigation.
- Herbicide tolerance. Crops developed to tolerate specific herbicides allow farmers to fight weeds by applying targeted herbicides only when needed and enable them to use conservation tillage production methods that preserve topsoil, prevent erosion, and reduce carbon emissions.
- Disease resistance. Through genetic engineering plant breeders can enable plants to resist certain diseases, like the papaya ringspot virus (PRSV). The GM Rainbow Papaya, developed to be resistant to PRSV, allowed Hawaiian papaya farmers to recover from an outbreak of this devastating disease that crippled their industry.
- Enhanced nutritional content. Genetically modified soybeans with an enhanced oil profile, much like olive oil, have been developed and are longer lasting and trans-fat free.
- Reduced food waste. Genetic engineering has been used to modify potatoes and apples in order to eliminate superficial browning and bruising (potato only) when the produce is cut or handled. These traits can help reduce the amount of produce thrown away by producers, processors, retailers and consumers.
- Improved manufacturing processes. Certain biotech corn varieties enable more efficient biofuels production by improving the process through which cellulose and/or starch is broken down and converted to fuel. This helps reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing process by decreasing the amount of water, electricity, and natural gas needed to produce biofuel.
Thank you to A Spicy Perspective for this oh-so-yummy recipe using Illinois’s state snack!
Halloween Popcorn Mix
Candy coated party popcorn mixed with favorite Halloween candies!
12 ounces purple candy melts
14 cup popped popcorn (from 1/2 cups kernels)
11 ounces candy pumpkins
1 cup green chocolate coated candies
1 cup candy corns
3 tablespoons Halloween sprinkles
- Place the candy melts in a microwave safe bowl. Cook for 30 seconds. Stir and repeat, until smooth.
- Place the popcorn on a large rimmed baking sheet. Thoroughly salt the popcorn. Then pour the melted candy over the top and stir to coat. Once coated, apply the sprinkles.
- Allow the popcorn to dry. Then break apart and toss in the candy.
- Store in an air tight container until ready to serve.
Popcorn and field corn (called flour corn in this video) have a common ancestry, with popcorn having a higher moisture content that, when heated, liquefies the starch and causes the pop.
Check out this amazing video from Iowa Corn. We couldn’t have done it better ourselves.
Agriculture is an amazing industry that average folks have simply lost touch with. It’s super important, and we know you know that, but have you forgotten all the amazing things that a successful agriculture industry allows us to do and accomplish?