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RESEARCH: EFFECTS OF FEEDING BT MAIZE TO SOWS AND OFFSPRING IMMUNITY

Date : 24 October 2012

Teagasc scientist Stefan Buzoianu and team conducted a research to determine the effect of feeding transgenic maize to sows during gestation and lactation on maternal and offspring immunity and to detect the fate of the transgene.

One group of sows were fed with Bt maize (MON810) containing diet and another group with non-Bt maize diet for 143 days starting from the day of insemination. The immune function was evaluated using leukocyte phenotyping, haematology, and Cry1Ab-specific antibody presence in blood on days 0, 28 and 110 of gestation and at the end of lactation.

Results of the tests showed that there were no inflammation or allergic reaction observed in the sows and offsprings under the two treatments. Cry1Ab gene and cry1Ab protein was checked if present in the blood and feces of the sows and offsprings but both were not present. These findings provide additional information for Bt maize safety assessment.