Bt-free meat in MON810-fed pigs
Results from a study led by Ireland’s Animal and Grassland Research and Innovation Centre (Fermoy) have confirmed that meat from pigs fed on GM maize does not contain any Bt genes or proteins. The study was carried out in response to public concerns about the possible transfer of transgenic DNA to human tissues or to animal products such as meat. The researchers looked at the fate of transgenic cry1Ab DNA from MON810 maize on immune responses and growth in weanling pigs. The transfer of endogenous plant DNA across the gut barrier is a natural phenomenon, the researchers point out. In this study, only small, non-functional fragments of the cry1Ab gene and protein were detected in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), and these decreased in during passage through the GIT from 100% recovery in the stomach to undetectable in the faeces. Transgenic DNA or proteins were not found in the kidneys, liver, spleen, muscle, heart or blood. Feeding GM maize to weanling pigs had no effect on growth performance or body weight. Details of the study have been published in the journal, PLoSOne.