GM-free feed comes with added environmental and consumer costs

A new study confirms that genetically modified feed can reduce carbon emissions and costs for consumers.

Lara Moody, with the Institute for Feed Education and Research, tells Brownfield just a five percent shift from genetically modified corn and soybean production to non-GM, “Would result in about a 54 percent increase in grassy habitat conversion if we were to have that equivalent level of production,” she says.

Moody says the study also found greenhouse gas emissions would increase by seven percent annually if five percent of GM corn acres were converted to non-GM because it would require more fuel use and tillage.

There are also added costs for livestock at feed mills to segregate crops.

“We can see increases from $4 to $9 a ton for pork, poultry and egg production, the increase for beef and dairy animal feed is not quite as significant,” she explains.

And the study found costs for consumers increased up to 16 percent for non-GM animal protein products.

Researchers at Iowa State University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln contributed to the report.

The study was conducted in partnership with Dairy Management Inc., MFA Incorporated, the National Corn Growers Association, the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, and others.

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