HealthWatch: Cloned Cows Produce Human Breast Milk

(CBS 5) — For mothers, breast milk is one of the best gifts you can give your baby. It’s packed with nutrients as well as disease fighting substances.

But scientists in Asia and South America say they are now producing human breast milk in cloned dairy cows. The researchers say they have got a herd of cows that can make milk that rivals the best of the breast.

Dr. Li Hing, director of the research product in China, said, “Our modified cow milk contains several major properties of human milk in particular proteins and antibodies which we believe are good for our health and able to improve our immune systems as well as those that help up counter viruses and bacteria.”

Chinese researchers inserted the human genes that code for milk production into the DNA of dairy cows. They now have over 300 of these transgenic Holsteins in a herd.

The milk, according to the scientists, tastes stronger and sweeter than human breast milk

Argentina is also developing human breast milk in cows. Last week, scientists presented their country’s first transgenic cow to the media at a press conference. The cow, named Rosita Isa, also produces human like milk, which the scientists say is 80 percent identical.

The Chinese scientists hope to have an affordable form of the milk on the market within three years, but they have to assure the public that it’s safe to drink.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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