After documenting a number of health problems that his pigs developed on a diet made up mainly of genetically modified soy, Danish farmer Ib Borup Perderson transitioned his animals to a GMO-free diet, with noticeable changes appearing after just two days, reports the farming magazine Effektivt Landbrug.
Problems plaguing the 450 sows included chronic diarrhea, birth defects, reproductive problems, reduced appetite, bloating, stomach ulcers, weaker and smaller piglets, and reduced litter sizes, according to Perderson, which significantly impacted the farm's profitability from the excessive medical and labor costs in dealing with the ongoing illnesses.
Perderson researched his animals' feed and found that not only were the GMOs a risk factor, but also the pesticides used on the crops, which eventually led him to switch his animals over to a diet of fishmeal and non-GMO soybeans. The resulting boon in their health was documented and published in a report by scientist Brian John of GM-free Cymru (Wales) and the organization GM Watch.
Among the changes in the sows' health, Perderson noticed a drastic disappearance of diarrhea within 2 days, eliminating the need for daily antibacterial drugs and reducing the incidences of death—as many as 30 percent of his sows died from diarrhea during farrowing. He has also reported no deaths connected with bloating or ulcers whereas one per month was the norm. And, Perderson also noticed healthier piglets that needed less time nursing and were generally stronger and healthier than those whose mothers had eaten the genetically modified soybeans.
Perderson's case has led the Danish government to look into new safety tests on GMO soy versus non-GMO feed for pigs and other livestock, and the research supports a growing roster of other findings that suggest severe health issues connected with GM crops and the associated pesticides, particularly glyphosate.
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