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Detection of Transgenic Protein and DNA in Bovine Milk and the Effect of Transgenic Substances on Nutrient Digestion and Milk Production in Dairy Cows


Holstein cows received a total mixed ration of forage and concentrate. The concentrate contained either GM feeds (T1, soybean meal; herbicide tolerant and maize grain; insect protected or non-GM feed ingredients). A switchback experimental design was used with three four-week periods. Immunoassay and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analyses were used to detect transgenic protein and target DNA (total and transgenic) in diets, rumen fluid, duodenal digesta, faeces, blood and milk. Effects of GM feeds on nutrient digestion, feed intake and milk production were measured. Data provided from these trials allowed a comparison between GM and non-GM diets.

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Concern has been expressed over the use of geneticly modified (GM) feeds in dairy cow diets. Whilst studies have not found either transgenic protein or DNA in milk from animals fed GM feeds, no work has been conducted to determine their fate at key stages in the digestive tract of the ruminant. The objective of the project is to measure the effect of ruminant digestion on the fate of transgenic protein and DNA, and the effect of transgenes on nutrient digestion and milk production in dairy cows.
<p>Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the <a href="; target="_blank">Food

Standards Agency Research webpage</a>.

University of Reading
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