A Danish pig farmer is blaming genetically-modified (GMO) ingredients in feed for terrible deformities in his hogs and piglets. Ib Pedersen, the farmer, is also convinced that GMO feed caused serious health problems and still births in some of his pigs.
Pedersen made the conclusion after experimenting with both natural and genetically modified feeds. The farmer conducted the experiments after noticing lots of deformities, sickness, deaths and infertility among his 13,000 hogs.
“When using GM feed I saw symptoms of bloat, stomach ulcers, high rates of diarrhea, pigs born with the deformities,” Pedersen said, “but when I switched (to non-GMO Feed), these problems went away, some within a matter of days.”
Pedersen stirred up a major controversy in his homeland of Denmark when he wrote an article for a leading agricultural magazine that outlined his conclusions. In particular, he attracted attention when he stated that the threat from genetically modified foods could be far worse than that from thalidomide (a drug that caused deformities in as many as 10,000 babies in the 1960s).
His allegations were summarized by The Ecologist.
Herbicide glyphosate to blame, he says.
Most of the deformities and stomach problems in the pigs, Pedersen alleges, were caused by genetically modified soy that had been sprayed with the herbicide glyphosate. The soy is genetically engineered to be resistant to glyphosate, which is used to kill weeds and increase crop yields.
The GMO feed caused serious birth defects in piglets, including spinal deformities, undeveloped legs, and even Siamese twins (two pigs conjoined at the head). Other pigs were born under size or still born.
He also says:
- The genetically modified food made the sows less fertile.
- Some sows aborted litters when eating genetically modified food.
- Pigs had serious stomach problems, including ulcers and diarrhea, when they ate the GMO food.
When Pedersen had the bodies of deformed pigs tested, the tests found glyphosate in their organs, he said.
“The more glyphosate, the more deformities,” Pedersen told The Ecologist.
Pedersen is not a hippy organic hobby farmer; he runs a large scale factory farm and he’s an experienced farmer and a hardnosed business man.
Professor supports Pedersen’s claims
Monika Kruger, a professor at Germany’s Leipzig University, has also found evidence that glyphosate is dangerous.
“A lot of livestock are ill and nobody is interested,” Kruger said. “In most cases the highest concentrations come from GM products like soya, rapeseed and corn.”
Kruger detected glyphosate in samples of store meat. Glyphosate can cause botulism in cows, Kruger claimed.
Iowa hog farmer Howard Vlieger told The Ecologist that pigs are better off without GMO feed.
“There is little doubt based on the results of putting GM feed into a livestock ration and based on the results of removing GM feed from a ration that animal health is better on conventional feed and grain,” Vlieger said.