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Animal Frontiers Abstract - Feature Articles

Future challenges feeding transgenic plants


This article in

  1. Vol. 7 No. 2, p. 15-23
    Published: April 13, 2017

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. Gerhard Flachowsky and
  2. Tim Reuter *
  1.  Institute of Animal Nutrition, Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute (FLI), Federal Research Institute of Animal Health, Bundesallee 50, 38116 Braunschweig, Germany
     Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Agriculture Centre, 100-5401 -1st Avenue South, Lethbridge, Alberta T1J 4V6 Canada


  • Commercial cultivation of genetically modified (GM) plants has been conducted for more than 20 yr. Over this period of time, studies on the feeding of GM crops to animals were also conducted to evaluate the potential impact.

  • The evidence revealed that animal studies feeding GM crops did not present adverse effects. Genetically modified crops have been shown to have substantially equivalent composition compared with traditional counterparts. Scientific studies have not observed biologically relevant effects on feed intake, digestibility, or animal health or unintended effects on animal performance and fertility or on the composition and quality of food of animal origin. Recombinant DNA and newly expressed proteins of GM crops do not show other chemical/physical properties as native substances in non-GM counterparts.

  • Looking to the future, conventional as well as novel plant breeding methodologies that contribute to a more resource-efficient production of high and stable yields of available plant biomass should be considered. Public funding in support of plant and animal research may contribute to a better understanding of the physiological, biochemical, and molecular processes and should be considered as an important challenge to meet the future demand for animal and human feed and food.

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Copyright © 2017. © 2017 Flachowsky and Reuter