Thursday, 14 April 2011

Scientists bred cows that produce human milk

Babies could soon be fed with human milk, which is a product of genetically modified cows. Scientists have bred 300 animals that were given human genes, in order that their milk contains the same nutrients and fats such as from human breast milk, according to Daily Mail. Scientists believe that the product is genetically modified cows could be an alternative to the conventional formula to mothers for food for children.

However, scientists have condemned the move by critics who question the safety of this method.

Human milk differs from cow in that it contains large amounts of nutrients, which are beneficial for growth and immune system of babies. Cow's milk has less fat and less carbohydrates, and contains antibodies that protect against disease.

Professor Li Ning, who led the research at the Chinese University of Agriculture, said that the milk of genetically modified cows milk as safe as ordinary.

"Milk modified cow has a stronger taste than usual. For ten years people will be able to buy in the supermarket," said Li.

"We have to make some rules that will serve to preserve human health. This milk could pose a risk to us is not yet known. Cow's milk will never be like a human," said Patty Randall, member of the campaign, "Baby Milk Action."

Professor Li and his team used the technology of cloning using human genes that are instilled into the DNA of Holstein cows.

One type of genetically modified cows milk contains lysozyme, antimicrobial protein that protects babies from infection. Scientists have bred cows whose milk contains human lactoferrin, a protein that enhances the immune system.

The third human protein alpha-lactalbumin is also present in milk. Professor Li said that his team had increased the amount of fat in cow's milk by a fifth, and that it has done very similar to human.

Critics, however, argue that the growing of genetically modified cows negative to animals. In two experiments in China in which 42 cows were born, they survived only 26th Ten of them died after birth, and six more in the next six months.

Rules in China relating to genetically modified foods are less strict than European. British scientists believe that this research could be very useful.

Modified milk could improve sales cows in Asia, where nine out of ten people do not tolerate lactose, so they can not consume cow's milk, and later do not suffer from stomach aches and cramps.


  1. This is beyond disturbing and disgusting. Instead of genetically modifying another mammal, how about we focus on the support and education of actual human mammals to encourage them to produce the perfectly made milk on their own? Women, mothers, are perfectly capable of producing milk. There is enough human milk to go around. Human milk is for human children, not hybrid-freak-GMO-cow milk. Sick.