Traditional breeding techniques have been used to modify the genomes of plants and animals for many years. From sweet corn to hairless cats, artificial selection for specific, desired features has resulted in a diverse range of creatures. However, artificial selection has been confined to naturally occurring variants, in which organisms with specified features are chosen to breed following generations. Advances in the realm of genetic engineering, on the other hand, have allowed for more precise control over the genetic modifications incorporated into an organism in recent decades. Through genetic engineering, we may now introduce new genes from one species into a completely other species, improving agricultural output or easing the manufacturing of important medicinal molecules. Crop plants, farm animals, and soil microorganisms are just a few of the more well-known creatures that have been genetically modified. In this article, we will have deep insight on the effects of genetically modified crops on cattle grazing.

Genetic Modification

The term Genetic Modification (GM) refers to the transfer of genes across species utilising a variety of laboratory procedures such as cloning genes, excising DNA segments , and inserting genes into cells. Recombinant DNA technology refers to all of these procedures together.

The technique of genetic modification has helped humans in a variety of ways:

• The mass manufacture of human insulin, vaccinations, growth hormones, and other treatments based on Genetic Modification technology has tremendously aided the availability and accessibility of life-saving medications.

• Around the world, the enzyme chymosin has replaced animal-based rennet for cheese manufacture to the tune of 80-90 percent.

Genetic Modification of Crops

The discovery of a gene of interest and its isolation from the host organism are the first steps in the development of Genetically Modified crops. Using a laboratory-based gene gun or agrobacterium techniques, the gene is inserted into the DNA of the crop plant. The Genetically Modified crop’s performance is evaluated in both laboratory and field settings. In India Bt cotton is the only approved genetically modified crop for growing.

Genetically Modified Crops for Cattle Grazing

Genetically Modified Crops

Genetically modified (GM) cultivars account for a large percentage of soybean (81%) cotton (81%) corn (35%) and canola (30%) crops cultivated globally. The world’s livestock populations are the main consumers of the present generation of GM crops, with approximately 70-90 percent of harvested Genetically Modified biomass being fed to food producing animals. As the global livestock population expands in response to rising demand for animal protein sources, Genetically Modified crops are anticipated to become increasingly more significant in animal agriculture.

Since their introduction in 1996, GM crops have been fed to livestock. GM crops have benefitted the livestock industry indirectly by increasing feed ingredient output and improving quality features. These crops are primarily employed as an energy and/or protein source in animal feed diets.

Conventional crops such as rapeseed and mustard oil cake can easily be employed as a protein supplement for ruminants, however the presence of glucosinolate in the feeds might cause a strong odour and bitter taste following hydrolysis by endogenous enzymes . Thus, taking into account the feed’s quality as well as other factors such as pest control, disease resistance, and herbicide resistance, Genetically modified crops for cattle grazing have upper hand.

Adverse Effects of Genetically Modified crops  on Cattle Grazing

Despite the apparent benefits of Genetically Modified crops on animal output, consumers of animal origin food have raised genuine concerns. Although shops make every effort to keep GM components out of human food, GM crops and grains are nonetheless widely fed to farm animals.

Spontaneous mutations in GM crops can raise toxicity levels, and genetic alteration can cause allergic responses to GM feeds. The insertion of genes from known allergenic plants in crops is usually discouraged due to the risk of creating unanticipated allergic responses.

To minimise possible food allergy instances in animals, extensive testing of GM crops is required. Inserting a foreign gene might potentially have unintended detrimental consequences for animal health.

It’s worth noting that the World Health Organization has concluded that eating DNA, including that from Genetically modified crops, has no intrinsic danger. The fact that mammals have always absorbed considerable amounts of DNA from a range of sources, including plants, animals, bacteria, parasites, and viruses, has led to this conclusion.

The only Genetically Modified crops that are currently being produced commercially on a large scale are those that include genetic constructs that confer herbicide resistance, pest tolerance or insect defence. Both maize (grain and starch) and maize (seed). There is currently a lot of evidence for forage and soyabean. This demonstrates that Genetically Modified crops are comparable in composition to their non-Genetically Modified counterparts.

The small amount of study that has looked at the digestion of biotech proteins has likewise established that the usual mechanisms of digestion are unaffected. Both ruminants and non-ruminants digest protein likely to be more than sufficient to keep intact the absorption of ingested proteins across the gut wall.

On the basis of current research, it is determined that the DNA of inserted genes or changed genes, as well as their products (proteins), of those crops that are being studied commercially cultivated crops do not pose a health risk to humans.

As a result, it’s plausible to assume that eating crop materials or animal products generated from Genetically Modified crops isn’t harmful, not endangering the health of animals or humans.

REFERENCES

http://www.geacindia.gov.in/resource-documents/17_2-Genetically_Modified_Crops_An_Overview.pdf

https://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/agriculture/genetically-modified-gm-crops-techniques-and-applications-0-710/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3558185/

https://www.animbiosci.org/upload/pdf/16_114.pdf