A long-term study over 25 months was conducted to evaluate the effects of genetically modified corn on performance of lactating dairy cows. Thirty-six dairy cows were assigned to two feeding groups and fed with diets based on whole-crop silage, kernels and whole-crop cobs from Bt-corn (Bt-MON810) or its isogenic not genetically modified counterpart (CON) as main components. The study included two consecutive lactations. There were no differences in the chemical composition and estimated net energy content of Bt-MON810 and CON corn components and diets. CON feed samples were negative for the presence of Cry1Ab protein, while in Bt-MON810 feed samples the Cry1Ab protein was detected. Cows fed Bt-MON810 corn had a daily Cry1Ab protein intake of 6.0 mg in the first lactation and 6.1 mg in the second lactation of the trial. Dry matter intake (DMI) was 18.8 and 20.7 kg/cow per day in the first and the second lactation of the trial, with no treatment differences. Similarly, milk yield (23.8 and 29.0 kg/cow per day in the first and the second lactation of the trial) was not affected by dietary treatment. There were no consistent effects of feeding MON810 or its isogenic CON on milk composition or body condition. Thus, the present long-term study demonstrated the compositional and nutritional equivalence of Bt-MON810 and its isogenic CON.
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