Sunday, June 24, 2012

Chinese produce human breast milk from genetically modified cows.



The Chinese hope to be selling the milk in super markets within three years. The milk is identical to human milk and has the same immune enhancing and antibacterial features as breast milk according to scientists at the Agricultural University in Beijing.

There is already a transgenic herd of 300. It was bred by inserting human genes into cloned bovine embryos. These were then implanted in cows. The milk is still undergoing safety tests for now.

Workers at the plant say the milk tastes stronger and sweeter than ordinary dairy milk. The milk will be marketed as a more nutritious drink than dairy milk. I am not sure what the advantages really would be as after a certain age humans are not natural imbibers of breast milk. However, the same could be said about dairy milk from the very start ! The milk could be quite useful as a replacement for baby formula I should think and probably better for babies.

Unlike Europe China has embraced genetically modified foods. Animals have been produced to be resistant to mad cow disease and have been modified to produce more nutritious meat. China has genetically modified cooking oil, papayas, tomatoes and also potatoes which are all widely available. Most recently insect-resistant rice and corn that allows hogs to absorb more nutrients when they eat it has also been approved. In the west many environmentalists oppose genetic modification of foods. For more see this article.

I am thankful enough to use insulin produced by genetically modifying e coli bacteria. For some reason I do not hear the usual ethical and safety howls about this from some of my leftist friends.

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