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Best Pratices for Animal Feed Studies

Task Force on Best Practices for the Conduct of Animal Feed Studies to Evaluate Genetically Modified Crops


In collaboration with the Federation of Animal Science Societies, IFBiC convened the Task Force on Best Practices for the Conduct of Animal Studies to Evaluate Genetically Modified Crops to examine types of livestock,  poultry, and aquaculture feeding studies  used in assessing biotechnology-derived crops.  The goal was to assemble best practice protocols for animal nutrition studies into a single guideline document.

Phase 1: Input Traits

The Task Force completed and published (2003)1 a document outlining the rationale and specific protocol recommendations for each major type of animal nutrition study appropriate to the performance evaluation of first generation biotechnology-derived feeds.  The Task Force then initiated the development of a similar document for output traits.

Phase 2: Output Traits

The expert panel’s Phase 2 document was reviewed by a diverse group of 23 international experts. The manuscript (2007)2 is divided into three parts:

  • the growing, sampling and storage of the product
  • the targeted output trait and its biology
  • animal study protocol

and has chapters on production, handling, storage, and processing of crops; sampling and analysis of crop materials; individual macronutrients; various micronutrients, statistical analysis and interpretation; among others.


Both the 2003 and 2007 reports have been referenced by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)3 on multiple occasions.  Together, these IFBiC documents help decision makers achieve harmonized approaches for the evaluation of input and output traits in crops and/or their byproducts. 

Task Force Experts

Gary Cromwell, University of Kentucky / Federation of Animal Science Societies (FASS)
Gary Hartnell, Monsanto Company
Austin Lewis, University of Nebraska
David Baker, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Michael Bedford, Syngenta Animal Nutrition
Kirk Klasing, University of California, Davis
Frederic Owens, Pioneer, A DuPont Company
Julian Wiseman, University of Knottingham  

Task Force Members

Bayer CropScience, LP
Dow AgroSciences
Monsanto Company
Pioneer, A DuPont Company
Syngenta Seed Technologies, Inc.

Task Force Leadership

Gary Hartnell, Monsanto (Co-chair)
Gary Cromwell, University of Kentucky/FASS (Co-chair)


  1. 2003 Best Practices for the Conduct of Animal Studies to Evaluate Crops Genetically Modified for Input Traits
  2. 2007 Best Practices for the Conduct of Animal Studies to Evaluate Crops Genetically Modified for Output Traits
  3. ​​​EFSA. 2008. Safety and Nutritional Assessment of GM Plants and derived food and feed: The role of animal feeding trials. Food and Chemical Toxicology 46 (2008) S2–S70.​​