Human breast milk produced by genetically modified cows
By Ben Coxworth
June 8, 2011
According to a recent report on Sky News, Chinese scientists have created a herd of 300 transgenic dairy cattle, all of which have been genetically modified to produce human breast milk. While the milk is still undergoing government testing, the researchers reportedly hope to be selling it in supermarkets within three years.
The cattle were created at China's Agricultural University, in Beijing. Human breast milk genes were inserted into cloned cow embryos, which were in turn implanted into surrogate cows.
The milk is claimed to taste stronger and sweeter than cow milk, and to have better antibacterial and immune-boosting qualities. It could be marketed as a more nutritious alternative for consumers.
While many of us might find the thought of such genetic alterations to be unsettling, particularly when they involve food products, the scientists involved in the study apparently aren't overly concerned. "There are 1.5 billion people in the world who don't get enough to eat," project director Prof. Li Ning was quoted as saying. "It's our duty to develop science and technology, not to hold it back. We need to feed people first, before we consider ideals and convictions."
China's Agricultural University has also produced cattle that are resistant to mad cow disease, and that produce more nutritious meat.
Source: Sky News