Is this good news or is it just plain creepy? Genetically modified dairy products similar to human milk will be available on the market in as little as two years, says a Chinese biotech expert.
According to Li Ning, director of the State Key Laboratories for AgroBiotechnology at China Agricultural University, Chinese scientists have successfully created a herd of over 200 cows “capable of producing milk that contains the characteristics of human milk”, adding that the “cutting-edge technology” will ensure “healthy protein contained in human milk is affordable for ordinary consumers”.
The scientist explains the rationale behind his research:
“In ancient China, only the emperor and the empress could drink human milk throughout their lives, which was believed to be the height of opulence,” Li said. “Why not make that kind of milk more available for ordinary people?”
Human milk contains two kinds of nutrition that can help improve the immune systems and the central nervous systems of children. The components are not available in milk produced by goats or cows.
Li said the scientific world had not previously found a way to mass-produce those ingredients. The GM milk will be as safe to drink as that of the ordinary cows, he added.
Fantastic! Maybe we’ll be able to get the cows to breastfeed our babies sometime in the near future.
And maybe we’ll soon be able to find Baby Gaga, the breast milk ice cream recently pulled off the shelves in the UK, in a Chinese supermarket.