The impact of DNA injected to crops and some animals creating genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been long in discussion. The ethical, environmental, social, political and scientific views are diverse and still in debate.
The latest news of human-like milk produced by genetically modified cows in China might heat up the topic even more.
Researchers in China have genetically modified 200 cows getting the approval and permit from the government. They expect Chinese market to be selling the human-like milk produced by the herd in two years’ time together with other diary products derived from the GM milk.
“The scientists have successfully created a herd of more than 200 cows that is capable of producing milk that contains the characteristics of human milk. The milk tastes stronger than [cow or goat] milk. Within ten years, people will be able to pick up these human milk-like products at the supermarket . . . [the] healthy protein contained in human milk [will be] affordable for ordinary consumers,” says Li Ning, director of the State Key Laboratories for Agrobiotechnology at China Agricultural University.Li Ning also referenced to the Chinese ancient emperors saying “In ancient China only the emperor and emperess could drink human milk throughout their lives, which was believed to be the height of opulence. Why not make that kind of milk more available to ordinary people?” What kind of reference is this?
The whole story is revolting and only tells about the eccentricism of ancient civilizations. Cleopatra used to enjoy goat milk baths and the Aztecs ripped hearts out to offer them to Huitzilopochtli (Aztec God of war). Does it mean we have to do the same in the 21st century? Although Cleopatra’s milk baths are still famous, it is not quite the same as drinking human milk or ripping someone’s heart out.
Human milk is meant to feed babies and little children as other mammals do. However, humans are the only mammals with the learned habit of drinking human milk in their adulthood. Human milk helps improve the children’s immune systems and central nervous systems. Breast feeding has been shown to have many benefits for children but it is not the same for adults. There is no evidence of real need of any type of milk consumption in adulthood.
There are certified human milk banks around the world for mothers who are unable to nurse their babies. This is a more natural practice than feeding a baby with human-like milk produced by a genetically modified cow.
The human-like milk produced by genetically modified creepy cows is not only gross but also makes me wonder of the impact in the human genes and how this could affect the normal human DNA and the evolution of the future generations.
What will be the next monster created by scientists in a laboratory in the name of science?