Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

GM pig feed and stomach inflammation

Experts respond to a study finding that GM soy and corn cause stomach inflammation in pigs.

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Prof Tom Sanders, Head of the Nutritional Sciences Research Division at Kings College London, said:

“It does not look like a convincing adverse effect as it was a minor incidental finding. There were no differences in growth and mortality rates and pigs at sacrifice appeared in similar health. The dietary groups were also not identical as different supplements had been used. If you do not specify outcomes at least one in 20 will come up as being statistically significant by play of chance.

“The probabilities for the abnormal findings were low. Gastric inflammation is often due to infections and uterine weight can be influenced by factors such as rate of weight gain. The number of pigs with mild to severe inflammation did not different between groups with 69/73 showing inflammation in the control group and 64/79. The authors have unwisely highlighted differences in the number with severe inflammation. It seems unlikely that the effects observed were treatment related.”


Prof David Spiegelhalter, Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk at the University of Cambridge, said:

"The study's conclusions don't really stand up to statistical scrutiny. The authors focus on 'severe' stomach inflammation but all the other inflammation categories actually favour the GM-diet. So this...

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