I've been watching the "Mice & Men & GMO... " thread, and I just can't help
The anecdote concerning cattle going off of feed when switched to GMO
...if you had two identical side-by-side silos filled with identical silage,
and you switched from one to another, in nearly every case you would see a
decrease in feed intake for a short amount of time. The environments in
both silos differ, thus making the silage differ. Cattle will pull back
from the bunk, and require time to adjust to the change - whether it was an
addition of a GMO or not.
I live in Iowa. Last winter, we heard a similar story from a neighbor who
runs their cow herd on their corn stalks in the winter. He claimed that
when he put the cows on a field that had been planted to Bt corn, his cattle
would refuse to eat the stalks and would immediately begin bolting through
the fence. It so happens that I'm entomologist who specializes in corn
pests, and my husband is one of four Beef Enterprise Consultants for Land O
Lakes in the U.S. After walking the Bt field with our neighbor, the answer
was clear: the Bt field had no broken stalks, thus no ears of corn on the
ground. Plain and simple, the cows were hungry. If you've ever been around
cattle, you know that cows don't just stand around and moan when they're
hungry, but rather they take action and go find something to eat. It is
also possible that with the increase vigor of the stalks (no insect
tunneling, etc.) it takes longer for the stalk to dry down in the fall, thus
making the stalks are 'tougher', and the cows liked eating them less.
Iowa State University has done research on the grazing value of Bt and non
Bt corn. The link to the ISU Beef Center article is below
I'm not saying that it's not entirely possible that livestock do not like Bt
(or other GMO crops), however, I am asking you to look past the fact that
it's a GMO, and look at the root cause - lack of fallen corn, stalk
strength, protein content, increased oil content, etc.... The nuances of
palatability are deep and mysterious subjects, and livestock are not
different than humans.
How else could you explain how one of my co-workers can eat broccoli at
every meal, while I'd rather eat my shoe?!
>Yes, this would be a fascinating experiment: to give animals free
>choice between GMO and non-GMO feed. There are already anecdotes which
>indicate that cows and pigs refuse GMO crops.....
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