If you follow my blog or my face-book page you already know what GMOs are, but here is the basic definition -Genetically modified foods (GM foods, or bio-tech foods) are foods derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs), such as genetically modified crops or genetically modified fish. GMOs have had specific changes introduced into their DNA by genetic engineering techniques. These techniques are much more precise than mutation breeding where an organism is exposed to radiation or chemicals to create a non-specific but stable change. The scientist at Monsanto started inserting genes from bacteria and viruses into crops. That’s were they got a crop that could either survive a application of the company’s herbicide glyphosate (roundup) or produce its own insect killing pesticide. Coming soon the USDA will be approving Agent Orange resistant crops (this have been proven in studies after Vietnam to cause cancer and birth defects).

Research has shown lower levels of nutrients in crops sprayed with Roundup. These crops are specifically engineered to tolerate the herbicide Roundup, whose use has increased with the release of Roundup-Ready GM crops. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, decreases nutrient availability and uptake in plants. Some of these nutrients help plants and animals fight disease. Recent studies have shown a link between high rates of spontaneous abortions and infertility in livestock fed GM Roundup-Ready crops.

We know very little about the effects of genetically modified organisms on livestock and human health. Researchers in Italy have performed a study on some of the effects, and their results were released last year. They fed one group of pregnant goats rations with non-GM soybean meal and another group with GM Round up sprayed soybean meal. The mothers received this diet for two months prior to the birth of their kids. Then the offspring were fed milk only from their mother for 60 days. The results showed DNA from the GM Roundup-Ready soy in the blood, organs, and milk of goats. Also, the kids of the mothers fed GM soy had substantially higher levels of an enzyme, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), in the heart, muscles, and kidneys. Similar metabolic changes have been found in studies of GM-fed rabbits and mice, as well.

The word is spreading that rabbits fed pellets from company’s that use GMO grown products in the manufacturing of their pellets are getting sicker. Laboratory GMO fed rabbits have had organ damage, reproductive failure, high death of kits, stomach legions, smaller bodies and organs, low immune responses, and higher death rates. There is no actual facts that I have, just resource’s and articles I have found.

The way a rabbits digestive system works is that the beneficial bacteria that needed in the gut must flourish and adapt to their food source. If this bacteria is off it will cause all kinds of digestive problems such as enteritis, bloating, wasting away and more! If the bad bacteria starts flourishing this can cause coccidiosis and other problems. Last year I have had a rash of emails, phone calls, people stopping by the rabbitry to ask questions about problems with their rabbits. The only common factor in all these cases is the use of GMO pellets. Not just in one area (from California to Maine) or season (Spring to winter)! I do not believe that they are stress related. I am lucky to feed the lowest amount of pellets I have too, to keep my rabbits productive and healthy. By feeding rabbits a more natural diet and keeping a closed herd, has been the best thing for me and my rabbits.

A result in tests done on rabbits fed gmo soy-meal was released found Roundup Ready Soy Changed Cell Metabolism in Rabbit Organs, Rabbits fed GM soy for about 40 days showed significant differences in the amounts of certain enzymes in their kidneys, hearts and livers. A rise in LDH1 levels in all three organs suggests an increase in cellular metabolism. Changes in other enzymes point to other alterations in the organs. When cells are damaged in mammals, LDH levels are elevated. It is a key indicator of cancer, and LDH remains elevated after a heart attack. Increased LDH is associated with several other health disorders

A German farmer who had 65 cows die after he fed them genetically modified Bt corn has filed criminal charges against Syngenta, alleging that the company knew the corn could be lethal to livestock, and covered up deaths that occurred during one of their clinical feeding trials. Swiss bio-tech Syngenta committed a grave criminal offense by deliberately withholding the results of a feeding trial in which four cows died in two days. The deaths prompted the company to halt the test. No health problems or deaths were reported in the control group, which was not fed the genetically engineered Bt 176 corn.

Thousands of livestock deaths have also been reported across India, as a result of grazing on genetically engineered crops and feed.

Alfalfa is the number one forage crop in the United States. In January 2011 the USDA approved the release of genetically modified (GM) alfalfa, raising the prospect that some non-GM alfalfa will be contaminated by GM alfalfa by cross-pollination from bees (could this also be the health problem bees are having?). Soon the first cuttings of GM alfalfa will be harvested and fed to livestock and be in your rabbit pellets with the GMO soy products. I have been called a conspiracy theorists but is this a way to control the food supply. You will not be able to raise any animals without the use of GMOs. This is why I push the Natural diet for us and our rabbits! Please comment your thoughts and ideas!


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Posted on March 10, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 25 Comments.

  1. I feed Blue Seal Hutch 18 which probably has GMOs. I’ve looked into getting organic feed but haven’t found any close enough to be financially viable. Last summer, I had a terrible time trying to get does to breed and kindle. I wonder if the food was a factor. I finally got a litter this winter and hopefully have some on the way.

    • I also feed blue seal pellets. I feed the minimum I have to and this changes with the growing season. If I had less rabbits I think I could go without pellets. Thanks for reading and good luck with the rabbits

  2. I have to say, the use of GMO crops outside of the laboratory really bothers me. I tend to agree that it can have more widespread and longer lasting negative effects than is generally admitted to.

    I developed a rabbit tractor and pasture my rabbits and want to work towards growing most of their feed here and also breeding hardier meat rabbits. That won’t eliminate the possibility of GMOs from their diet, but it will definitely reduce it considerably.

    I raise chickens too and am working away from prepackaged feed there too, but it looks like I will be dependent on purchased grains including GMOs for the next few years.

    For our family, we have eliminated a lot of the GMOs from our diet just by staying away from prepackaged foods, but it is pretty close to impossible to eliminate all of them and potential cross contamination completely.

    It’s hard to believe we can’t even get labeling in the US, at least not yet. I believe it is coming though.

  3. Steve Tishhouse

    Is there any rabbit food out there that does not have anyGMO’s in it? Commercially ? We also raise chickens and there is a Amish grainary that will run GMO free chicken food I have to get a minimum of 500 pounds but he only charges $1.00 extra for a 50 pound bag. Wish he could make rabbit food.

    • I can not find any non GMO rabbit pellets in my area. There are some feed companys out there working on it. But I do not know of any. Any one out there got some names?

      • You can get organic feed from countryside organics 30 dollars per 50 pounds, but then you have to pay shipping.

      • Wow, that is expensive! But not knocking the feed company. I do not think any feed company makes bad feed on purpose.

      • Yes, it is expensive. Sorry I couldn’t comment on your comment of my comment. lol. I wouldn’t have a problem paying it but the shipping really kills the deal. I did buy one bag, and will say the rabbits much prefer it to the other stuff from the store that I had bought. That should not be surprising though. there are many studies where animals will prefer non-gmo/organic over gmo crops.

  4. Thank you very much again! Linda Rae Mays (Santa Cruz, CA)

  5. I hate GMOs. I take your approach right now Rick with all my animals. Feed scraps and forage as much as possible and bagged feed when necessary. I get a lot of hate for that. People on Facebook demonizing those of us who have to use bagged feed. Yes I’m not going to pay $50 for 40 pounds and then have to pay shipping as well. Fewer GMO’s is better than giving up in my opinion.

  6. I think you bring up some very good points. I hate the idea of GMO’s in my rabbit’s feed but I don’t see what choice I have? I feed Purina Show & have had good luck with it. As for our family, I buy mostly organic food & will venturing into the meat rabbit world this summer. Thank you for your insightful article, loved it.

  7. Wow, this is eye opening info. I knew about GMOs, but hadn’t heard about the alfalfa. Sigh.

  8. Thank you for your research efforts and sharing! I recently decided to go ahead with my pursuit of bunny happiness and wanted to be sure to feed the best, freshest, most nutritionally dense and satisfying feed to my rabbits. I looked all over for ‘real’ feeding advice, knowing pellets aren’t natural or the most self-sufficient option. I’ve found people to almost seem afraid to stray from the new ‘norm’, as if the companies telling us their product is the only responsible thing to feed our animals and no one wants to stand out as not having their animals best interest in mind. Thanks again for your effort of research, I’m content now that I can provide a safe, nutritious and enriching diet for my rabbits.

  9. No pellets! Feed your rabbits fodder! I feed my Flemish Giants and American Fuzzy Lops and meat rabbits AND CHICKENS alll fodder. No more GMOs and it is less than half the cost!

    • Can you elaborate on what you give them? What is your “fodder”? How much land does it take to grow it? what is in it? thanks

      • whisperingsage

        I have been researching for pasture fodder, and I got over my fear of clover with I had been worrying about the estrogen and he hasn’t had any problem- out of 250 ewes, only two came out not pregnant. So i am collecting my seeds (I am waiting on money to buy a second controller for my 2000 watt solar sytem so i can run water for a decent number of hours daily). Until i do that I can’t even try to grow pasture. But I am still mulching and manuring and putting down dolomite (magnesium and calcium) and gypsum, and glacial rock dust. If you notice about glyphosate making fewer nutrients available, that is KEY to how glyphosate works, it binds minerals, and guess what crops need the most? Minerals! And guess what can survive really well on low or imbalanced minerals? Weeds!
        But we are encourging weeds that are nutritious and do well in balanced minerals- lamb’s quarter, dandelion, prickly lettuce. I also like bindweed- farmers with tractors hate it, but I just say “rabbit food!” I also have volunteer mallow, they like that too.

  10. Wow, scary to think about when you look at the impact of the approved GM alfalfa overall. Like Luke mentioned above, we really cut out the prepackaged foods and opt for organics whenever possible but feed is a different story. I’m sure there will be more to come on this in the coming months and years…

  11. Try Joybilee farms GMO free feed recipes Our rabbiys have been doing better since switching we also give them free choice hay and fresh feed daily:)

  12. Hello all,

    Just saw this comment series and wanted to let it be known the difference between non-GMO and organic.

    Non-GMO: not made of genetically modified organisms. (I think we are all clear on that note)

    Organic: No pesticides or chemical agents used in the growing or harvesting processes.

    I will make my point through a question.
    Can GMOs be grown Organically?
    If GMOs are grown organically can we call them “Organic”?

    Solution…grow your own food!

    Organic growing practices are at the top of the list, but still comes second to the need to buy non-GMO.

    Be a good neighbor and ask your neighbor if you can care and cut their lawn. Make sure no chemical fertilizers are used.

    Collect clippings from the lawns and your garden; vwah-la rabbit feed.

    Need a place to get non-GMO and organic seed for your garden?

    Healthy regards,

    • whisperingsage

      Oh boy, the lawn clippings! Round Up has been used on lawns for a long time, I finally made a decision not to accept lawn clippings because of the danger of the Round Up.

  13. I am feeding mine fodder and forage right now, along with GRASS hay. I am experimenting with red clover as an alternative protein source to alfalfa. There is also bush willow which has a similar protein level to alfalfa. I am cutting and drying my own grass hay during this summer. I don’t know if I can put up enough to get them through the coming winter or not, but we will see.

  14. I feed my bunnies Sherwood Forest brand that I buy on amazon. No soy, but the main ingredient is alfalfa. IDK if it is GMO, but it’s the best brand I’ve found so far. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. I’m in school full time and don’t have time to make my own bunny food right now. Maybe when I graduate I can, but not feasible right now.

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