The feeding value of soybeans fed to rats, chickens, catfish and dairy cattle is not altered by genetic incorporation of glyphosate tolerance

J Nutr. 1996 Mar;126(3):717-27. doi: 10.1093/jn/126.3.717.


Animal feeding studies were conducted with rats, broiler chickens, catfish and dairy cows as part of a safety assessment program for a soybean variety genetically modified to tolerate in-season application of glyphosate. These studies were designed to compare the feeding value (wholesomeness) of two lines of glyphosate-tolerant soybeans (GTS) to the feeding value of the parental cultivar from which they were derived. Processed GTS meal was incorporated into the diets at the same concentrations as used commercially; diary cows were fed 10 g/100 g cracked soybeans in the diet, a level that is on the high end of what is normally fed commercially. In a separate study, laboratory rats were fed 5 and 10 g unprocessed soybean meal 100 g diet. The study durations were 4 wk (rats and dairy cows), 6 wk (broilers) and 10 wk (catfish). Growth, feed conversion (rats, catfish, broilers), fillet composition (catfish), and breast muscle and fat pad weights (broilers) were compared for animals fed the parental and GTS lines. Milk production, milk composition, rumen fermentation and nitrogen digestibility were also compared for dairy cows. In all studies, measured variables were similar for animals fed both GTS lines and the parental line, indicating that the feeding value of the two GTS lines is comparable to that of the parental line. These studies support detailed compositional analysis of the GTS seeds, which showed no meaningful differences between the parental and GTS lines in the concentrations of important nutrients and antinutrients. They also confirmed the results of other studies that demonstrated the safety of the introduced protein, a bacterial 5-enolpyruvyl-shikimate-3-phosphate synthase from Agrobacterium sp. strain CP4.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed / standards*
  • Animals
  • Body Composition
  • Body Weight / physiology
  • Cattle / metabolism
  • Cattle / physiology*
  • Chickens / metabolism
  • Chickens / physiology*
  • Female
  • Food Handling
  • Glycine / analogs & derivatives
  • Glycine / pharmacology
  • Glycine max / drug effects
  • Glycine max / genetics
  • Glycine max / standards*
  • Glyphosate
  • Herbicides / pharmacology
  • Ictaluridae / metabolism
  • Ictaluridae / physiology*
  • Lactation
  • Liver / pathology
  • Male
  • Milk / chemistry
  • Milk / metabolism
  • Nitrogen / metabolism
  • Nutritive Value
  • Pancreas / pathology
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley / metabolism
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley / physiology*
  • Rumen / metabolism


  • Herbicides
  • Nitrogen
  • Glycine