You said that feeding GMO to pigs did not make them sterile? Take a look at what this pig farmers says:
Thanks for leaving me this question! Inflection and intention can be hard to come by on the internet, so I’m going to assume that you’re legitimately interested in understanding why there is a discrepancy from some of my other articles and this pig farmer’s video and testimony. (If you were being cheeky about it, I high suggest doing a little digging next time!)
The guy in the video is Jerry Rosman. A quick Google search reveals that Mr. Rosman’s story has been told now on countless anti-GMO websites as proof that GMOs cause some type of reproductive problems. If you haven’t watched the video, Mr. Rosman’s story goes like this: Prior to 2000, he was a conventional farmer that had a large swine operation in Iowa. Mr. Rosman cultivated corn on his farm to feed to his pigs. In 1997, he started using genetically engineered corn seed and even acted as a seed dealer in his area.
Everything was going just swell until the year 2000. That year, Mr. Rosman claims he started to see his sows have what he called “pseudo-pregnancies.” According to Mr. Rosman, the sows would essentially go through a pregnancy, but instead of delivering piglets, they would either give birth to water bags or subsume the piglets. This went on for a while and Mr. Rosman was being told by other farmers in his area that they were experiencing the same thing. Mr. Rosman realized that it was only happening to those pigs that ate the 2000 corn crop, which he had purchased from a different company and which had a different line of genetics. The other farmers allegedly experiencing these same issues were also getting their feed from that same 2000 corn crop. Researchers from various places, including Iowa State University, allegedly concluded that the genes inserted into the corn were causing the problems.
To no one’s surprise, Mr. Rosman is now an advocate for the organic industry and conducts “research.” Of course, he now claims that all of the scientists involved in the reviewing his claims were paid by Monsanto or other seed companies to change their story. (How convenient.)
So, what gives?
As reported at Academics Review, it turns out that two professors at Iowa State University did come out to Mr. Rosman’s farm to investigate the problem. The professors concluded that it was the 2000 GMO corn crop causing the problems. However, while the reproductive problems were caused by the corn, it was not because of the genetically engineered traits.
Rather, the researchers discovered that the corn being used as feed was actually moldy and the mold was causing the fertility issues.
Researchers discovered that the corn crop contained Zearalenone and Mycotoxin, which are molds that can occur when corn is stored too long or improperly. The corn being used on Mr. Rosman’s farm was apparently stored in a grain bin and was moldy. In fact, Zearalenone and Mycotoxin are well-known for causing reproductive problems in swine. (For more information about how corn can easily get spoiled, especially in places where the winter takes up half the year, click here. Careful, graphic photos!)
The ironic twist here is that genetically modified corn, specifically corn with the Bt trains, can actually have less Mycotoxins and be better for the animals. And, as Academics Review pointed out, lots and lots of peer review studies have been and none of them have shown that Bt corn causes any type of reproductive problems in livestock, including pigs.
Which leads us back to the other stories I’ve done. A review done by Alison L. Van Eenennaam, a PhD at the University of California – Davis, showed that over the last 18 years of feeding 9 billion livestock annually a diet consisting of 95% GMO feed, there has never been a documented instance of unfavorable or perturbed trends. (I also debunked another study that purported to show that GMOs caused irritation to pig stomachs that turned out to be less than reliable.)
As for Mr. Rosman’s assertions that Monsanto and the other seed companies paid off or threatened the researchers from Iowa State University, I’m highly skeptical. People tell me on a daily basis that I’m just a Monsanto shill, but (sadly) they are not paying me.
I’m not sure why Mr. Rosman has chosen a different explanation for why his pigs were sick, nor will I speculate why. But even if Academic Review had not taken a look at this particular scenario, it wouldn’t really make a difference on whether or not you should believe Mr. Rosman’s story. Although compelling, his story is a personal anecdotal tale of what happened to his hogs. That isn’t scientific and it certainly cannot be projected to condemn all of GMO feed.
You cannot use one person’s story to project scientific conclusions, especially when it is contrary to every single scientific study performed.
On the other hand, Dr. Van Eenennaam’s review is scientific and credible. From the data she gathered, we absolutely can make the statement that GMO crops are safe for livestock consumption. We can conclude there is no need to worry about reproductive problems. If it were otherwise, we would certainly know after 18 years and multiple generations.
Charles, thanks for the question! I had fun looking into Mr. Rosman and his story. I’m also still fully confident that biotechnology is safe and important tool in modern agriculture!
Jerry SHERER says
Keep up the good work