Literature review

Literature review and overview of data Sources for livestock health monitoring in relation to feed (including Genetically Modified (GM) feed)

This literature review focuses on the influence of GM feed on animal health and the detection of plant molecules in livestock. It can be used as a guide when looking for data about the link between animal health and GM feed. Although, many research activities are running on this subject, limited data sources are available that combine data about livestock health and feed.

On this webpage, we present some references and links to sources referred to in this review.

Health impact of GM plant diets in animal feeding [+]:

Snell, C., Bernheim, A., Bergé, J.-B., Kuntz, M., Pascal, G., Paris, A., Ricroch, A., 2012. Assessment of the health impact of GM plant diets in long-term and multigenerational animal feeding trials: A literature review. Food and Chemical Toxicology 50, 1134-1148.
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Animal nutrition and feeds from genetically modified plants [+]:

Flachowsky, G., Aulrich, K., Böhme, H., Halle, I., 2007. Studies on feeds from genetically modified plants (GMP) – Contributions to nutritional and safety assessment. Animal Feed Science and Technology 133, 2-30.
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Flachowsky, G., Chesson, A., Aulrich, K., 2005. Animal nutrition with feeds from genetically modified plants. Archives of Animal Nutrition 59(1), 1-40.
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Effect of feeding Bt MON810 maize on livestock health [+]:

EC Review of 10 publications done on the effect of bt MON810 maize on livestock health (pg 2-12).
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Summary of WP1 [+]:

The focus of Work Package 1 was on the availability of knowledge and data, as well an overview of existing activities, which could, for example, fit into the database to be established within Work Package 6. Its tasks were both to collect data on existing and previous monitoring activities, as well as to identify items that are not or not entirely covered by these activities and therefore could be further developed in order to facilitate possible future monitoring activities on the relationship between feed consumption and animal health.

Results of a literature search into published data on the health of animals consuming GM crops did not give rise to concerns about the effect of GM feed on livestock health as most short-term, long-term and multigenerational studies conclude that animal health is not adversely affected by feeding GM feed.

Results of an inventory of existing research projects/activities and monitoring systems showed that animal health is indeed monitored in the EU, but the relation between (GM) feed and animal health cannot be estimated from existing databases because hardly any (GM) feed data are recorded within these monitoring systems. Also lacking to a great extent is knowledge on the relationship between animal health and (GM) feed consumption. Another literature review focused on the possibilities to detect GM ingredients in feed and the fate of these ingredients’ DNA during digestion. The outcomes showed that while DNA is well digested in the gastrointestinal tract, in some cases transgenic DNA could still be demonstrated in the gastrointestinal tract. This topic is further elaborated in Work Package 2.

It was concluded that much knowledge that would facilitate the monitoring of potential effects of GM feed on animal health is still missing. For example, no validated farm animal models exist for testing the effect of GM feed on the health of such animals, neither are there any established, adequate ex vivo or in vitro systems that could act as a substitute for the highly variable and costly in-vivo animal experimentations. As Work Package 1 has been finalized, the report providing further details of the outcomes of the abovementioned activities is the final result, which will serve as basis and input for the follow-up Work Packages, in particular the development of an epidemiological model (Work Package 5) and the design and implementation of a database and data collection (Work Package 6).

Further information on the contents of this report can be obtained from the project coordinator.