"Human" milk from genetically modified cows

Jodi - posted on 04/03/2011 ( 27 moms have responded )

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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.

http://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/practical-...

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?

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Tara - posted on 04/04/2011

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http://www.i-sis.org.uk/list.php

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2004/f...

http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/Nutr... This one is about genetically modified soya in baby formulas. Scary shit.

http://www.foodqualitynews.com/Public-Co...


And this excerpt
"..The long-term effects of eating GM foods are not yet known, but studies have already shown that GM foods pose various health threats in humans. Scientists have found that levels of plant toxins and natural allergens can be increased in GM foods. In one extreme case, lab rats suffered vital organ damage, viral infections and other heath complications from GM potatoes.

Monsanto's patented rBHG hormone, a genetically engineered hormone shot into cows to make them produce more milk (milk with higher concentrations of pus, bacteria, and fat) causes an increased need for antibiotics in dairy and has been linked to several types of cancer in humans." from

http://www.guilfordian.com/forum/genetic...

Hope they all work.

Krista - posted on 04/04/2011

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It's not necessarily that the food is bad. It's that the PRACTICE is bad, because these foods are being put out on the shelf, and are not labeled as GM foods, and nowhere NEAR enough research has been done with regards to these foods and how this modification can affect the human body.

So basically, we ARE a bunch of guinea pigs. That, in and of itself, is not a good thing.

Krista - posted on 04/04/2011

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True, but pufferfish isn't being presented to the consumer as perfectly innocuous haddock.

That's the bugger about GM foods -- they're not labeled as such. And because of this, consumers are not being allowed to make an informed decision. If they were labeled, with a clear indication that their safety has not been conclusively proven, and people still chose to eat them, then bully for them -- that's their prerogative.

But that's not the situation here, is it?

Tara - posted on 04/04/2011

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The argument I present is based on the fact that animals were born with certain genes. Fish with fish genes, chickens with chicken genes. To combine the two into a food source, is in my opinion, irresponsible considering there has not been enough research on GM animals.
I don't like the idea of Round Up being inserted into the genes of a Canola plant to ensure it can be sprayed with Round up to kill off all weeds but leave the Canola intact and growing.
I don't like the idea that there are flounder genes in my tomatoes so they can withstand cold longer than a normal tomatoe.
My research paper was done on behalf of an organics company, yes one industry over another. However I was an am an independent researcher. I was not paid to find a certain type of result in my research, I was paid to do research and present my findings based on impartial investigations.
When you combine the genes of different species, you are essentially playing with nature.
Genetically modifying foods is not a fine science. Where the gene is inserted in the cellular structure is not exact. They can never be exactly sure where or how that gene will express itself.
To me, when you start playing with the DNA of a species of plant or animal and you are in essence gambling on the outcome. Again, where are the long term studies on the effects of GM in society?
FlavrSavr tomatoes were all the rage back in the 90's, largely because they could be left to ripen on the vine without going mushy, and would stay firm on the supermarket shelf, they actually removed the gene that causes the fruit to get soft.
Well, there are no GM tomatoes sold in the UK at this time.
To say that GMOs are safe because the chicken was safe and the fish was safe, so therefore the chickfish must be safe, is really just acting out of naivety. There are inherent flaws in the field of GMOs, so many that many countries are looking to WHO for guidelines on feeding them to their consumers. And WHO is currently keeping a database on adverse side effects on humans and human fetuses, allergen potentials and the risk to the environment and natural crops.

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[deleted account]

why cant they leave nature alone....this scares the shit out of me....genetically modifying things....what if they mess up and create something seriously nuts...

Sal - posted on 04/04/2011

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just to throw an other little aspect in here, if it turns out these cows are not only great at making breast milk but also make an awsom t-bone would that be like cannibisation, or is it only the lactation system that are modified and the rest is still 100% cow

~♥Little Miss - posted on 04/04/2011

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My husband worked for Monsanto for MANY years, I think 8 or 9. He mainly worked with corn and soybeans, but he definately worked with GMO. He would tell me all sorts of things that would make you cringe. We eat more GMO than you would think. Especially with your veggies and fruit.

I don't like the idea about this cow human milk thing. I just think it is pushing the envelope in a way that we should not be going. I can see why they would think it is better over formula, but I would rather give my kid formula rather than this cows milk. It creeps me out.

Becky - posted on 04/04/2011

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Oh thats so clever, i wonder when they will be able to make cows that do everything els that i do too, so i can go off and do something meaningful and paid with my life!

[deleted account]

Go pee Tara and if you can send me some information, I'd love to read it. The only reason I haven't looked anything up before is a simple one - I'm lazy these days. :)

Tara - posted on 04/04/2011

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It's not an assumption Jen, it's fact and backed by so many scientists around the world, it's almost laughable that despite these dire warnings and recommendations from the worlds leaders in science the multinational corporations continue to advance in this field, continue to produce crops that are killing bees all over the globe with their GMO pollen, continue to place into our global food supply chain, foods that have no label indicating that they are GM crops.
Right now, in Canada, there are two applications put forth. 1. is a pig that is spliced with a mouse gene because this would reduce the amount of sulphur that is in pig shit, thereby reducing the pollution levels in rivers and waterways around the massive pig factory farms where these pigmice will live.
2. This one is an application from AquaBounty to grow salmon that are genetically modified in waters off the Canadian coast, next to wild salmon populations. These freak salmon grow twice as fast and twice as big as their "normal" brethren on the other side of the underwater fencing system.
And if they go through, there is no system in place to let the public know that those pork chops on the grill are actually pouse-chops or Mig chops. Or that the salmon you cooked to perfection has been spliced with a different species altogether so that it became freakishly giant in a short time period. This has been done to Plymouth White Rock broiler chickens. To the point where they can make a chicken from birth to death in 28 days or so. These chickens often have broken breast bones because they have been bred to produce freakishly large breast meat.
Anyhow, I could go on and on and on... but I have to pee from all the coffee and I'm derailing this thread, perhaps I'll dig up some more and start a new thread later.
:)

[deleted account]

I see. I think I get it now. It's not so much the practice but the lack of informed choice. I get that and respect that.

[deleted account]

I know, I was just making a joke. :)

I guess my concern is why there is an assumption that it's bad?

Krista - posted on 04/04/2011

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If it's unknown, then it hasn't been proven as safe though, has it?

And call me crazy, but I'm not keen on the idea of ingesting something that has not been proven to be safe.

[deleted account]

Ok Tara, I totally get the aversion to the Round-Up. That' makes sense. However I still don't get the combining of two living creatures will cause a problem thing. I'm not trying to be difficult but all I'm seeing is that "It's unknown" no that it's been presented as 'unsafe.'

Do you see my confusion?

Jodi - posted on 04/04/2011

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You're welcome Tara :D

I figured if you were questioning whether you had it right, you wouldn't mind me correcting ;)

[deleted account]

Tara, while I understand Krista's point on China's lack of safety standards perfectly, I don't get yours. You wrote a research paper on behalf of one industry against another industry (and both are in it for the money pure and simple). I guess I haven't seen yet where it is harmful. If you add (purely hypothetical and admittedly I'm showing off my scientific ignorance) fish genes to chickens so their eggs will contain omega 3s but both the fish and the chickens were ok to eat beforehand - how does combining them make it dangerous?

Tara - posted on 04/04/2011

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GM Food : What you don't know WILL hurt you, The truth about Frakenfoods.

That was the title to a research paper I did about 8 years ago for an Organic food company about GM Foods.

I am completely opposed to GM foods and GM animals. I would never feed my kids GM milk from a GM cow. As soon as you introduce the genes of another animal, that animal is no longer a cow, or a fish, or a clam etc.

I try very hard to avoid feeding my kids GM canola, GM soya and GM wheat. I have been pushing for GM labeling in Canada for years, every petition that comes my way is signed, sealed and sent.

This whole idea of turning cow milk into something like human milk makes my stomach churn.

Who knows what the long term ramifications of this will be.

We are all Guinea-pigs in the world of GM foods.

Yucky and Gross were the first adjectives to come to mind as I read this story.

edited to change the spelling of guinea pig thanks to Jodi. :)

Krista - posted on 04/04/2011

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Yeah, let's let the Chinese develop human milk from cows, because goodness knows they have a stellar record of consumer product safety standards.

Mmm...tastes like melamine!

[deleted account]

Genetic modification doesn't bother me at all at this point. I do think it's a silly exercise when we could just encourage human breastfeeding on a wide scale.

Medic - posted on 04/04/2011

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Is now an appropriate time to whip out my tin foil hat??? I have extras!!! I think the whole thing is just odd and that we need to be careful screwing around with nature.

Sal - posted on 04/03/2011

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yuck, just because you can do something doesn't mean you should......wrong wrong wrong,

Desiree - posted on 04/03/2011

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Oh Crap here comes trouble...I really wish people would leave thing well enough alone. If it ain't broke don't fix it. There are times when Science and Scientists really go over board and this is one time. Why does man always think they can do better than nature?

Johanna - posted on 04/03/2011

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Wierd- doesn't even really seem possible...I have to agree- I am not at all comfortable with the idea of feeding my child milk from a genetically modified animal. Who knows what the long term effects could be?

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 04/03/2011

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Oh, and i dont like it....maybe down the road, but right now, like you it freaks me out!!!

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 04/03/2011

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I mean WOW!

I guess the point of breast are just for decoration and the pleasure, they are no longer needed in the way they were intended….

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