Feeding Roundup Ready Soybeans and Corn to Growing Pigs

Marcia Shannon
State Swine Nutrition Specialist
University of Missouri
Phone: (573) 882-7859

Researchers from three universities (KY, IL, and NE) in conjunction with the Monsanto Company (St. Louis, MO) have evaluated the effects of feeding Roundup Ready soybeans and corn to growing pigs on performance and meat quality.

Hyun et al. (2004) conducted to evaluate the performance of growing-finishing pigs (50-265 lbs) fed Roundup Ready corn, a nontransgenetic genetically similar corn, or conventional corn at a constant inclusion rates (between 68 and 81.8%). Barrow and gilt growth performance and carcass characteristics were similar between pigs fed the different corn hybrids. Cromwell et al. (2002) evaluated the nutritional value of soybean meal prepared from herbicide-tolerant or conventional soybeans for the growing-finishing pigs (50-245 lbs). Growth performance, feed efficiency, backfat and loin eye area were similar. Jennings et al. (2003) evaluated loin muscle from pigs fed Roundup Ready or conventional soybean meal for approximately 104 d and the results showed that neither small fragments of transgenic DNA nor immunoreactive fragments of transgenic protein were detectable in the muscle tissue of growing pigs. Therefore, researchers concluded that pork from pigs fed transgenic genetically modified grains is safe to eat.

These studies indicate that transgenic genetically modified grains both as corn and soybean meal is equivalent in composition and nutritional value and will result in similar growth performance to conventional grains for growing-finishing pigs. However, no research has been published evaluating the impact of feeding transgenic genetically modified grains to reproducing females or boar, but one might assume that the results would be similar to growing-finishing pigs as the nutritional composition, performance, and pork characteristics were similar between hybrids fed.

Cromwell, G.L., M.D. Lindemann, J.H. Randolph, G.R. Parker, R.D. Coffey, K.M. Laurent, C.L. Armstrong, W.B. Mikel, E.P. Stanisiewski, and G.F. Hartnell. 2002. Soybean meal from Roundup Ready or conventional soybeans in diets for growing-finishing swine. J. Anim. Sci. 80:708-715.

Jennings, J.C., D.C. Kolwyck, S.B. Kays, A.J. Whetsell, J.B. Surber, G.L. Cromwell, R.P. Lirette, and K.C. Glenn. 2003. Determining whether transgenic and endogenous plant DNA and transgenic protein are detectable in muscle from swine fed Roundup Ready soybean meal. J. Anim. Sci. 81:1447-1455.

Hyun, Y., G.E. Bressner, M. Ellis, A.J. Lewis, R. Fischer, E.P. Stanisiewski, and G.F. Hartnell. 2004. Performance of growing-finishing pigs fed diets containing Roundup Ready corn (event nk603), a nontransgenically similar corn, or conventional corn lines. J. Anim. Sci. 82:571-580.