Are Hays and Forages affected by Genetically Modified Organisms?


Question: “Is there any evidence, or any studies done regarding effects of Genetically Modified forages and grains on horses?”

Answer: The easy answer to your question is no.

The term ‘genetically modified’ is not well understood by lay people. Do you mean genetically engineered? As in inserting genes, such as creating resistance to RoundUp? RoundUp Ready alfalfa and soybeans, canola oil and BT corn are probably the only ones that might end up in a horse.

Or selected for special characteristics?

If you believe selection is to blame, then the first farmer who saved back the biggest seeds to replant are ‘genetically modifying’ the next generation.

Neither have been studied in horses versus native forage. And it’s not likely to be studied. We cannot bring the natives back, because the improved forages are so invasive. There are so few places in the world with undistubed native grass; people would have to go into fenced-off cemetaries to find what is native to the area. Most of the country is taken over by smooth brome or fescue. The whole question is about spilled milk. You can’t go back to native without a LOT of cost and expert management.

Copyright Rocky Mountain Research & Consulting, Inc.

Kathryn Watts has a fabulous library of CD’s on the following subjects:
Pasture and Forage Management for Laminitic Horses
Dietary Management of the Carbohydrate Intolerant Horse
Soil Minerals: The Basis of Nutrition

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