Monday, December 21, 2015

How Genetically Modified is Your Horse's Feed? - Full Article

By Diane E. Rice
Dec 7, 2015

You might be surprised to find out with this introduction to GMOs

You love your horse. You show that love in the way you care for every detail of his existence: You monitor him closely for possible illness and injury; keep his living quarters clean and parasite-free; ensure his tack is supple, oiled, and well-fitted; and secure the best veterinarian and farrier services your money can buy. His hay smells sweet and appears fresh, with no trace of dust or mold, and the listed ingredients in his feed are poised to support his health and -performance.

But no matter your choice of feed mixtures and proportions, what’s deep within each grain, down to the cellular level?

You might be surprised to learn that there’s almost no such thing as an equine or other animal feed that’s free of GMOs, or genetically modified organisms. Oats are one of the few feed grains commonly used for horses that haven’t been genetically engineered to improve at least one quality, says Marty Adams, PhD, PAS, equine nutritionist and horse feed manager at Southern States Cooperative in Richmond, Virginia.

“Cheerios really played it up when the public wanted non-GMO oats,” says Adams. “It was great marketing for them, but the truth is oats were already GMO-free because they’re grown in a cooler, drier climate, so the weed control needed in warmer, wetter areas (accomplished with GMOs resistant to the herbicides used to kill surrounding weeds) just wasn’t needed.”

But few horses live by oats alone. These days equine feeds might contain alfalfa, beet pulp, corn, flaxseed, rice, soybeans, and/or wheat, of which there are GMO varieties, in addition to vitamins, minerals, and sweeteners such as molasses...

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