Trusted information & resources for animal nutrition.


Review of Genetically Modified Feed Ingredients

August 2017

A comprehensive review of genetically modified crops (GM or GMO) was published in a recent issue of Animal Frontiers. This review paper discusses in depth the GMO benefits and issues related to animal nutrition. The author summarized the article with the following bullet points. Genetically modified (GM or GMO) crops have been widely adopted by growers and are a significant source of feed for animal agriculture.

  • Most GMO crops commercialized for animal feed have input traits that do not change their composition or nutritional value for animals.
  • Feeding GMO crops does not result in detection of transgenic DNA or their translated proteins in meat, milk, or eggs.
  •  Genetically modified crops help reduce greenhouse gases, decrease agricultural chemical use, and increase farmer incomes.
  • Genetically modified crops provide better pest protection and weed control, which increases yields and preserves more land for wildlife and biodiversity.

The overall message of this review was that these technologies play an important role in our ability to produce more food with fewer resources. These technologies are examples of tools that have been used over the past hundred years to improve productivity. In the past, simple genetic selection for desirable traits in livestock and crops was used. These new genetic modification tools are faster, more efficient, and more cost effective compared to those used in the past. The failure to accept these new technologies as a way to increase productivity will delay one solution for solving world hunger challenges.