Jodi - posted on 04/03/2011 ( 27 moms have responded )
Chinese Scientists have created genetically modified cows that produce "human" milk as an alternative to human breast milk and formula milk for babies.
The scientists claim they have successfully introduced human genes into 300 dairy cattle to produce milk with the same properties as human breast milk. Professor Ning Li, the scientist who led the research and director of the State Key Laboratories for AgroBiotechnology at the China Agricultural University said: “Human milk contains the ‘just right’ proportions of protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and vitamins for an infant’s optimal growth and development.
Researchers said they were able to create cows that produced milk containing a human protein called lysozyme. Lysozyme is an antimicrobial protein helps to protect infants from bacterial infections during their early days of life. The milk also contains two other human milk proteins lactoferrin & alpha-lactalbumin.
They believe that in 10 years time, or maybe more, consumers may be able to feed this enhanced milk to their babies.
The research has been opposed by both critics GM technology and animal welfare groups who have questioned the safety of milk from genetically modified animals and the effect of GM on the cattle's health.
A spokesperson for the Royal Society for the Protection of Animals commented "There are major welfare issues with genetically modified animals as you get high numbers of still births... "Ethically there are issues about mass producing animals in this way."
But Professor Ning Li, insisted that the GM milk would be as safe to drink as milk from ordinary dairy cows and that the transgenic animals are physically identical to ordinary cows.
When I read this, it kind of freaked me out. Not sure I like the idea. I just don't like all this genetic modification full stop. What are your thoughts?