Renewable Farming

New $1.4 million study: Can glyphosate residue in feed affect animal health?

Two foundations are sponsoring a three-year study by Aarhus University in Denmark aimed at finding if, and how, glyphosate residues in feed may impact livestock health.

You can read the university research announcement at this link. 

Feb. 9, 2017  By Jerry Carlson Denmark is an ideal base for such a study. Danish pork producers and dairymen are struggling with livestock health and production economic challenges. Most of their soybean meal is imported from North and South American GMO crops sprayed with glyphosate.

Denmark also is the home of a pork producer with years of careful on-farm research into animal health response to glyphosate residues. He’s Ib Pedersen, whom we’ve mentioned several times in previous reports.  Google “Ib Pedersen GMO” and you’ll get a swarm of reports, including YouTube videos of Ib personally, documenting how reproductive gains improved when he switched to non-GMO bean meal.  However, the scientific community observes that these clinical, anecdotal observations are not valid, double-blind, random-rep experiments, thus not significant.

Ib’s experience has been significant to him, though. He has had to discontinue his hog production totally and is looking for alternatives.

Earlier facts linking health changes such as gut inflammation showed up in a 2013 on-farm study which was conducted to rigorous scientific standards. This was a lifetime study of pigs as a meat animal with full postmortem examination of the organs and GI tracts of the market hogs. The research paper was published in Volume 8, No. 1 of the Journal of Organic Systems.  Iowa livestock producer Howard Vlieger was the primary coordinator of the research project.  Researcher Judy Carman provided scientific guidance, analysis, and other supporting assistance along with other authors of the final paper.  You can download and read the paper at this link. 

We’ve also met cattle feeders who report greatly improved feedlot health and gains by switching to non-GMO corn and soymeal. One Minnesota family with a sizable feedyard told me that their beef packing plant is eager for all the finished cattle they can produce. Health indicators like liver abscess issues virtually disappeared when the farmer-feeder raised all their own corn and avoided the typical commercial soymeal, about 90% of which comes from GMO beans. I asked the father-son team to give me the “rest of the story” so I could post it online. They grinned, shaking their heads. “Why should we let you tell our competitors about our very important advantage?” 

So… anecdotal, practical data earn only shrugs in the regulatory and scientific fraternity. Even when an extended lab trial such as the French researcher Giles Seralini and his team emerges on the scene, it’s met with challenge and contempt. 

Iowa farmer-researcher Howard Vlieger quips, “Too bad common sense is NOT allowed in government or academia.”

If you’re a livestock producer, you’ll have to dig out the facts to protect your own long-term profitability, rather than waiting on insight from government, university and media sources.

On Feb. 9, a new YouTube interview of Dr. Anthony Samsel by journalist/activist Tony Mitra produced a 17-minute explanation of how the glyphosate molecule interacts with proteins in the digestive system, leading inability to properly digest food. Here’s the link to that video.