Farmers across the nation have reported ill effects in their animals when fed GMO corn and soy feed, but with a simple change, often costing less, non-GMO feed is causing better animal health and less disease.
You can conduct scientific studies on GMO all day long, but when you witness your animals getting sick right before your eyes, there is nothing more telling than that first-hand experience. Danish pig farmer Ib Pedersen was one farmer who saw immediate devastation to his pig herd after feeding them genetically modified soy. He’s no inexperienced farmer, either. He supplies one of the biggest companies in his country, Danish Crown, with pork – more than 13,000 pigs a year.
He noticed pig deformities, spontaneous abortions, and intestinal health issues before switching to a non-GMO variety of feed. Just a short time later, he experienced, “less abortions, more piglets born in each litter, and breeding animals living longer.” In short, his pig farm became healthy and prosperous, and he wasn’t spending as much on medicine to treat unhealthy pigs.
Another farmer, Troy Knoblock, who also raises hogs, switched from GMO feed to non-GMO feed a few years ago – not thinking there would really be a difference. He even says, ‘We laughed about it,’ when determining to go to a cheaper variety, which happened to be non-genetically modified. He had been keeping extensive records of his operation, and found that the money he was spending on drugs to treat ill hogs was cut in half shortly after going to non-GMO feed. He also saw fertility rates go up in his hogs – conception rates increased to almost 90% in many cases, and the size of the hog litters increased as well.
Knoblock says that switching to non-GMO feed has made his operation, “a lot more enjoyable.”
Because of this experience, the Iowa farmer has gradually been increasing his non-GMO crops, and this year 75% of his soybeans will be non-GMO. The seed is cheaper too – costing about $160 a bag, instead of $300 per bag for GMO seeds. Knoblock believes that there is interest in switching among other farmers, too.
Another farmer, Steve Tusa, raises beef cattle in Alpha, Minnesota. He has seen his cattle herds’ health improve drastically by switching to non-GMO feed. Cattle deaths due to digestive health issues or even pneumonia were cut in half once he switched. He grows his own 1400 acre non-GMO corn to use as feed for his cattle.
“The yields are good as or better than my neighbor’s traited (GM) corn,” Tusa says. He also says that there are a lot more farmers getting good results with non-GMO seed and feed, but they are hesitant to talk about it. He says that an atmosphere of fear has been generated by the GMO seed sellers, and many farmers are afraid to even try non-GMO seed, even though many people are experiencing great results using GMO-free varieties. Two farmers who were interviewed for the Non-GMO Report talked about their animals’ improved health using non-GMO feed, but didn’t want their names revealed.
“We haven’t done a scientific study; it’s just something we’ve seen with our own eyes,” the farmer says.
Monsanto, Bayer, and Syngenta do like to use scare tactics to sell their poison, but the proof is in the pudding, and these farmers should soon be able to speak loud and proud of their successes using good old fashioned, heirloom seeds, instead of GMO, and hopefully their numbers will exponentially increase as word gets out.
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.