Performance of growing-finishing pigs fed diets containing Roundup Ready corn (event nk603), a nontransgenic genetically similar corn, or conventional corn lines

J Anim Sci. 2004 Feb;82(2):571-80. doi: 10.2527/2004.822571x.


Two studies were conducted at two locations to evaluate growth performance and carcass characteristics of growing-finishing pigs fed diets containing either glyphosate-tolerant Roundup Ready (event nk603) corn, a nontransgenic genetically similar control corn (RX670), or two conventional sources of nontransgenic corn (RX740 and DK647). A randomized complete block design (three and four blocks in Studies 1 and 2, respectively) with a 2 x 4 factorial arrangement of treatments (two genders and four corn lines) was used. Study 1 used 72 barrows and 72 gilts (housed in single-gender groups of six; six pens per dietary treatment) with initial and final BW of approximately 22 and 116 kg, respectively. Study 2 used 80 barrows and 80 gilts (housed in single-gender groups of five; eight pens per dietary treatment) with initial and final BW of approximately 30 and 120 kg, respectively. Pigs were housed in a modified open-front building in Study 1 and in an environmentally controlled finishing building in Study 2. The test corns were included at a fixed proportion of the diet in both studies. Animals had ad libitum access to feed and water. Pigs were slaughtered using standard procedures and carcass measurements were taken. In Study 1, overall ADG, ADFI (as-fed basis), and gain:feed (G:F) were not affected (P > 0.05) by corn line. In Study 2, there was no effect of corn line on overall ADFI (as-fed basis) or G:F ratio. In addition, overall ADG of barrows fed the four corn lines did not differ (P > 0.05); however, overall ADG of gilts fed corn DK647 was greater (P < 0.05) than that of pigs fed the other corn lines. There was no effect (P > 0.05) of corn line on carcass yield or fatness measurements in either study. Differences between barrows and gilts for growth and carcass traits were generally similar for both studies and in line with previous research. Overall, these results indicate that Roundup Ready corn (nk603) gives equivalent animal performance to conventional corn for growing pigs.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed*
  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Animals
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Female
  • Male
  • Meat / standards*
  • Pesticides / pharmacology
  • Plants, Genetically Modified*
  • Random Allocation
  • Swine / growth & development*
  • Swine / metabolism
  • Zea mays / chemistry
  • Zea mays / genetics*


  • Pesticides