Document Type

Poster Session

Publication Date

Fall 12-5-2014

Research Advisor(s)

Dr. Melissa Beck; Dr. Ginger Cameron


Genetically modified organisms, GMO, addiction, rat model, food addiction, corn


Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) refer to organisms whose DNA has been altered to produce a certain characteristic. GMOs account for a significant proportion of the crops produced in the United States. Specifically, GMO corn accounted for approximately 88% of all corn grown for human and animal consumption in the year 2012. Previously conducted studies have not uniformly demonstrated the safe use of GMO corn, and no studies have been conducted analyzing the addictiveness of GMO corn.

The idea of addiction refers to more than just a physical dependence, but to a psychological dependence on something as well. It is sometimes accompanied by compulsive, uncontrollable behaviors that can interfere with other activities and which increase in intensity as there is an increase in access to the substance. Because food addiction is implicated in the prevalence of obesity and its associated pathologies, identifying addictiveness in GMO products may lead to changes in crop production, food production, and use.

This study will compare the addictive behaviors of rats who are fed GMO corn. The rats will be randomly divided into three groups. Each group will be fed a diet containing a portion of corn consisting of 0%, 50%, or 100% GMO corn, respectively, for 28 days. After the 28 day treatment period, the rats will be fed a corn-free diet for 10 days. The assessments will include both cage food consumption and body weight measurements taken during both the treatment and withdrawal periods, and behavioral symptoms observed in an open field test during the withdrawal period. The presence of withdrawal indicators will be scored for each rat, and the scores will be compared between the groups using a repeated measures ANOVA test.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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