Human Milk from Genetically Modified Cows

Scientists have created genetically modified cattle that produce “human” milk in a bid to make cows’ milk “more nutritious”.

The Telegraph
April 3, 2011

The scientists have successfully introduced human genes into 300 dairy cows to produce milk with the same properties as human breast milk. Human milk contains high quantities of key nutrients that can help to boost the immune system of babies and reduce the risk of infections.

The scientists behind the research believe milk from herds of genetically modified cows could provide an alternative to human breast milk and formula milk for babies, which is often criticised as being an inferior substitute.

They hope genetically modified dairy products from herds of similar cows could be sold in supermarkets. The research has the backing of a major biotechnology company.

The work is likely to inflame opposition to GM foods. Critics of the technology and animal welfare groups reacted angrily to the research, questioning the safety of milk from genetically modified animals and its effect on the cattle’s health.

But Professor Ning Li, the scientist who led the research and director of the State Key Laboratories for AgroBiotechnology at the China Agricultural University insisted that the GM milk would be as safe to drink as milk from ordinary dairy cows.

He said: “The milk tastes stronger than normal milk.

“We aim to commercialize some research in this area in coming three years. For the “human-like milk”, 10 years or maybe more time will be required to finally pour this enhanced milk into the consumer’s cup.”

China is now leading the way in research on genetically modified food and the rules on the technology are more relaxed than those in place in Europe.

The researchers used cloning technology to introduce human genes into the DNA of Holstein dairy cows before the genetically modified embryos were implanted into surrogate cows.

Writing in the scientific peer-reviewed journal Public Library of Science One, the researchers said they were able to create cows that produced milk containing a human protein called lysozyme,

Lysozyme is an antimicrobial protein naturally found in large quantities in human breast milk. It helps to protect infants from bacterial infections during their early days of life.

They created cows that produce another protein from human milk called lactoferrin, which helps to boost the numbers of immune cells in babies. A third human milk protein called alpha-lactalbumin was also produced by the cows.

The scientists also revealed at an exhibition at the China Agricultural University that they have boosted milk fat content by around 20 per cent and have also changed the levels of milk solids, making it closer to the composition of human milk as well as having the same immune-boosting properties.

Professor Li and his colleagues, who have been working with the Beijing GenProtein Biotechnology Company, said their work has shown it was possible to “humanise” cows milk.

In all, the scientists said they have produced a herd of around 300 cows that are able to produce human-like milk.

The transgenic animals are physically identical to ordinary cows.

Writing in the journal, Professor Li said: “Our study describes transgenic cattle whose milk offers the similar nutritional benefits as human milk.

“The modified bovine milk is a possible substitute for human milk. It fulfilled the conception of humanising the bovine milk.”

Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph, he added the “human-like milk” would provide “much higher nutritional content”. He said they had managed to produce three generations of GM cows but for commercial production there would need to be large numbers of cows produced.

He said: “Human milk contains the ‘just right’ proportions of protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and vitamins for an infant’s optimal growth and development.

“As our daily food, the cow’s milk provided us the basic source of nutrition. But the digestion and absorption problems made it not the perfect food for human being.”

The researchers also insist having antimicrobial proteins in the cows milk can also be good for the animals by helping to reduce infections of their udders.

Genetically modified food has become a highly controversial subject and currently they can only be sold in the UK and Europe if they have passed extensive safety testing.

The consumer response to GM food has also been highly negative, resulting in many supermarkets seeking to source products that are GM free.

Campaigners claim GM technology poses a threat to the environment as genes from modified plants can get into wild plant populations and weeds, while they also believe there are doubts about the safety of such foods.

Scientists insist genetically modified foods are unlikely to pose a threat to food safety and in the United States consumers have been eating genetically modified foods for more decades.

However, during two experiments by the Chinese researchers, which resulted in 42 transgenic calves being born, just 26 of the animals survived after ten died shortly after birth, most with gastrointestinal disease, and a further six died within six months of birth.

Researchers accept that the cloning technology used in genetic modification can affect the development and survival of cloned animals, although the reason why is not well understood.

A spokesman for the Royal Society for the Protection of Animals said the organisation was “extremely concerned” about how the GM cows had been produced.

She said: “Offspring of cloned animals often suffer health and welfare problems, so this would be a grave concern.

“Why do we need this milk – what is it giving us that we haven’t already got.”

Helen Wallace, director of biotechnology monitoring group GeneWatch UK, said: “We have major concerns about this research to genetically modify cows with human genes.

“There are major welfare issues with genetically modified animals as you get high numbers of still births.

“There is a question about whether milk from these cows is going to be safe from humans and it is really hard to tell that unless you do large clinical trials like you would a drug, so there will be uncertainty about whether it could be harmful to some people.

“Ethically there are issues about mass producing animals in this way.”

Professor Keith Campbell, a biologist at the University of Nottingham works with transgenic animals, said: “Genetically modified animals and plants are not going to be harmful unless you deliberately put in a gene that is going to be poisonous. Why would anyone do that in a food?

“Genetically modified food, if done correctly, can provide huge benefit for consumers in terms of producing better products.”

Death, Sweet Death: The Dangers of Aspartame

Sovereign Independent

Aspartame is a sugar substitute frequently used in products like diet sodas. It has been linked to brain cancer, memory loss,

All artificial sweeteners contain aspartame, a genetically engineered form of bacterial waste.

impaired vision, hearing loss, joint pain, asthma and the list continues.

For 16 years, the FDA refused to approve this best-selling sweetener aspartame, until a powerful politician finally got it legalized after calling in a favor. A three-year study confirmed a link between aspartame and cancer, but the FDA (food and drug administration) officials approved the toxic sweetener against the advice of their own scientists. http://www.wnho.net/whopper.htm

On the 14th July 2005, the BBC reported on the new study entitled: Fresh doubts about the safety of an artificial sweetener have been raised by Italian scientists who have linked its use to leukemia in rodents. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4683371.stm
Aspartame is marketed as ‘Nutra Sweet’, ‘Equal’ and ‘Spoonful’ so if the label says SUGAR FREE, leave well alone. In a presentation by the EPA (environmental protection authority) it was announced that in 2001, there was an increase of patients being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus and it was difficult to determine what toxins were causing this to be so rampant.

Toxicity of the methanol mimics multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus along with other conditions that resulted in many people being misdiagnosed. Apparently, the rise in the diagnosis of Lupus is almost as high as multiple sclerosis. Once patients were taken off their diet of soda, their symptoms dramatically decreased. The victim, not knowing that the aspartame is the cause of their ailments continued its use, thus irritating the lupus to such an extent that it becomes life threatening.

Also, in the case of misdiagnosis of multiple sclerosis, once taken off the diet drinks, symptoms disappear and where there have been cases of vision and hearing loss, both improved dramatically. If you are suffering from symptoms of shooting pains, numbness in your legs, cramps, vertigo, dizziness fibromyalgia, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, blurred vision or memory loss, you may have aspartame poisoning. It is reversible, but you must stop with the diet pops and sodas and look out for aspartame on food labels as many products list the sweetener in their ingredients.

Diet drinks are not diet products, they are chemically altered, multiple sodium and aspartame containing products, that make you crave carbohydrates and is more likely to cause weight gain. It has been found that aspartame is particularly dangerous for diabetics, with physicians believing that they have patients with retinopathy, but had in fact symptoms, caused by aspartame which drives blood sugar out of control thus causing the diabetic to suffer acute memory loss due to the fact that aspartic acid and phenylalanine are ‘Neurotoxic’ when taken without other amino acids that are necessary to make a balance.

During observations of thousands of children diagnosed with ADD and ADHD, it was documented that they had a complete change in their behaviors after the aspartame had been removed from their diets. Ritalin and other behavior modification prescription drugs were no longer needed. The foods that the children were being fed that were supposed to have been better for them than sugar, were in fact slowly poisoning them on a daily basis.

It has been said aspartame can cause birth defects such as mental retardation if taken at the time of conception and during the early stage of pregnancy. There have been numerous cases relating to children who have suffered grand mal seizures amongst other neurological disturbances due to the use of Nutra Sweet. Artificial sweeteners should never be given to children!

It is not easy to convince parents that aspartame is bad for their child and may be the reason for the child’s illness. Stevia is a sweet herb that helps in the metabolism of sugar and would be ideal for diabetics. It is not a manufacture additive and has now been approved by the FDA as a dietary supplement. For many years the FDA outlawed this naturally sweet food due to their loyalty to ‘Monsanto Chemical Company’.

Both Doctor Russell Blaylock and Doctor H. J. Roberts have posted details with case histories on the effects and use of the deadly poison aspartame on the internet. On March 2nd 2008, the Jerusalem Posts’ health page read, ‘Artificial Sweeteners May Cause Weight Gain’. This was based on research published by the American Psychological Association.

Apparently sweet foods provide a feeling to the body’s system that one is about to consume a lot of calories which in turn gears up the body’s digestive reflexes to deal with them, but when the sweetness is false as in diet drinks and not followed by an intake of calories, the system gets confused which interferes with the body’s ability to regulate the intake.

The former Secretary of Defense worked for a company called GD Searle Corporation (before getting involved in politics) that developed the sweetener aspartame and for years the company tried to get the stuff approved. But no one wanted to know. The FDA refused to approve it. Once he moved into politics, he appointed a new FDA commissioner and in 1981 the new commissioner approved aspartame despite the proven dangers and before we knew it, it was added to almost everything.

Aspartame can make you feel hungry and help you put on weight. It is a deadly neurotoxin hiding as a harmless additive. The year 2007 saw UK supermarket chains Sainsbury, M&S and Asda announce that aspartame would no longer appear in their own brand products. In April 2009 ‘Ajinomoto Sweeteners Europe’ who also make aspartame filed a complaint of ‘malicious falsehood’ against Asda for their ‘No Nasties’ campaign. Asda won their legal case. South African retailer Woolworths announced it was removing aspartame from its own label foods in 2009 and in this year, 2010 the British Food Standards Agency launched its own investigation into aspartame amid the claims of side effects after consuming the substance.

The FDA recommends 50 milligrams of aspartame per kilo of body weight. “The European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Food concluded in 2002 that, while some minor effects on health may occur at very high doses, no effects are expected at normal levels of consumption.”