In the ongoing debate over GMO labeling, GMO contamination, and possible GMO health risks, those involved in the food industry have a new genetically engineered (GE) phenomenon to look forward to.
Brace yourself, folks, because this new invention has major creep-out factor.
Scientists in New Zealand have developed a genetically modified cow whose milk is void of a protein called beta-lactoglobulin (BLG), which causes allergies in some people.
The cow, named Daisy, was created in the same manner of Dolly the sheep back in 1996. Remember poor ol’ Dolly? The clone who died after six years (relatively young for a sheep) from progressive lung disease?
“To make Daisy, scientists took a cow skin cell and genetically modified it to produce molecules that block the manufacture of BLG protein,” according to an article in The Guardian.
“The nucleus of this cell was then transferred into a cow egg that had its own nucleus removed. The reconstituted egg was grown in the lab until it formed what is called a blastocyst, a ball of around 100 cells, and then transplanted into the womb of a foster cow.”
Would Ray Bradbury be proud or horrified?
Reduce haphazard GE science
Technological innovations to make our lives better are an important part of moving forward. In the past few years, there have been major medical improvements, along with innovations in sustainability, safety and personal wellbeing.
But just because we are able to do carry out a scientific feat doesn’t mean we should do so haphazardly. If you’re allergic to BLG, couldn’t you just drink one of the amazing and delicious non-dairy milks available, such as soy, hemp, or almond?
Plus, the study abstract states that Daisy’s milk had massive increases in another protein, casein, which many people are allergic to as well.
Daisy was also mysteriously born without a tail—which, along with being the canary in the mine that she could have other, yet-unnoticed genetic mutations, is just plain creepy.
Perhaps we should focus on eradicating GMOs from our plant-based food supply before we move onto developing mammalian—wait for it—GMOos.
What do you think about the latest genetic cloning? Share in the comments.