Statement from Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) on the Carman-Vlieger “Pig” Study

  • Contact: Karen Batra
  • Phone: 202-449-6382
  • Email: kbatra@bio.org
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A new pig feeding study authored by Australian researcher Judy Carman, and Maurice, Iowa farmer Howard Vlieger, claims that pigs fed genetically modified (GM) corn and genetically modified (GM) soy showed increased incidence of severe stomach inflammation. 

The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) reviews all new feeding studies involving GMOs, as assertions of food safety have been made previously, but none have been found to be credible.  There are several aspects of this report that deserve further scrutiny. 

This study was authored by two veteran anti-biotech campaigners, Judy Carman and Howard Vlieger, and was published in an obscure online journal.  It reaches conclusions that are diametrically opposed to the great preponderance of the scientific evidence gathered over hundreds of independent food and feed safety studies that found no difference in between animals fed GMO or non-GMO diets. 

In reporting observations that pigs fed GMOs had severely inflamed stomachs, the authors note that pigs fed non-GMO diets also had inflamed stomachs, but failed to mention in their conclusion that there were more pigs with inflamed stomachs that had eaten the non-GMO diet.  Such inflammation is common in animals with high feed intake or feed that has been finely ground. 

Moreover, without important information about the setting of the experiments, other non-feed related factors could account for the observed results.  Accordingly, these data cannot be critically analyzed.

About BIO
BIO is the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. BIOtechNOW is BIO's blog chronicling “innovations transforming our world” and the BIO Newsletter is the organization’s bi-weekly email newsletter. Subscribe to the BIO Newsletter.