How Genetically Modified is Your Horse’s Feed?

You might be surprised to find out with this introduction to GMOs.
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How Genetically Modified is Your Horse
Many of today's horse feeds contain corn, alfalfa, beet pulp, flaxseed, soybean, and/or wheat of GMO varieties. | Photo: iStock

You might be surprised to find out with this introduction to GMOs

You love your horse. You show that love in the way you care for every detail of his existence: You monitor him closely for possible illness and injury; keep his living quarters clean and parasite-free; ensure his tack is supple, oiled, and well-fitted; and secure the best veterinarian and farrier services your money can buy. His hay smells sweet and appears fresh, with no trace of dust or mold, and the listed ingredients in his feed are poised to support his health and performance.

But no matter your choice of feed mixtures and proportions, what’s deep within each grain, down to the cellular level?

You might be surprised to learn that there’s almost no such thing as an equine or other animal feed that’s free of GMOs, or genetically modified organisms. Oats are one of the few feed grains commonly used for horses that haven’t been genetically engineered to improve at least one quality, says Marty Adams, PhD, PAS, equine nutritionist and horse feed manager at Southern States Cooperative in Richmond, Virginia

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Written by:

Diane Rice earned her bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism from the University of Wisconsin, then married her education with her lifelong passion for horses by working in editorial positions at Appaloosa Journal for 12 years. She has also served on the American Horse Publications’ board of directors. She now freelances in writing, editing, and proofreading. She lives in Middleton, Idaho, and spends her spare time gardening, reading, serving in her church, and spending time with her daughters, their families, and a myriad of her own and other people’s pets.

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