“Makan dan minumlah, dan janganlah berlebih-lebihan. Sesungguhnya Allah tidak menyukai mereka yang berlebih-lebihan.”(Al A’raf: 31)
Scientists have introduced human genes into 300 dairy cows to
produce milk with the same
properties as human breast milk, The Telegraph reports.
The scientists behind the research have modified cow milk in
an attempt to provide an
alternative to human breast milk and baby formula, as human
milk contains key nutrients
that can reduce infections and strengthen the immune system.
While the dairy product is likely to receive backlash from
opposers of genetically modified
foods, scientists such as Prof. Ning Li, who led the research
and is director of the State Key
Laboratories for AgroBiotechnology at the China Agricultural
University, believes it will be
safe to drink.
"The milk tastes stronger than normal milk," Li told The Telegraph.
"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."
Using cloning technology, scientists brought human
genes into the DNA of Holstein dairy
cows before genetically-modified embryos were
implanted into surrogate cows.
with a human protein called lysozyme, an antimicrobial protein
naturally found in human breast milk. They were also able to
create cows with lactoferrin and alpha-lactalbumin, other
human milk proteins that boost the immune system.
The research scientists claim they have boosted milk fat content
by 20 percent and have changed the levels of milk solids to
make it closer to the composition of human milk, carrying the
same immune-boosting qualities.
"Our study describes transgenic cattle whose milk offers
the similar nutritional benefits as
human milk," Li wrote in the "Public Library of Science One,"
a peer-reviewed science journal.
"The modified bovine milk is a possible substitute for human milk.
It fulfilled the conception
of humanizing the bovine milk."
There are opponents to genetically modified foods, however,
who feel more research should be
done before it can be considered safe.
"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," Helen Wallace, director of
biotechnology monitoring the group
GeneWatch U.K. told The Telegraph. "So there will be
uncertainty about whether it could be
harmful to some people."