The race to bio-engineer mother’s milk from cloned calves
Call it “mad scientist disease.” Scientists around the world are racing to genetically engineer cows to produce human milk.
Comedian Steven Colbert takes on this latest bizarre twist from the dairy industry in a segment of his Colbert Report, discussing how Chinese researchers have introduced a human gene into unborn cloned calves who can grow up to produce human mother’s milk.
Scientists in Argentina, however, have proudly announced that they’ve topped the Chinese “achievement” by introducing not one but two human genes into a cloned calf.
“The cloned cow, named Rosita ISA, is the first bovine born in the world that incorporates two human genes that contain the proteins present in human milk,” they said in a statement from the National Institute of Agribusiness Technology in Buenos Aires.
The statement goes on to say that the calves will grow up to “produce milk that is similar to humans” in what will prove to be “a development of great importance for the nutrition of infants.”
Cristina Kirchner, President of Argentina, said that the scientific institute “makes all Argentines proud.” Apparently, the scientists offered to name the cloned cow Cristina in her “honor.”
“They came to tell me that the name is Cristina, but what woman would like to have a cow named after her?” she joked
More to the point, perhaps: What woman would want to be associated with this kind of “science”?
Unstated in any of this, incidentally, is any mention of how many failed experiments and dead or deformed calves there were before Rosita was born – and how many there will still be in the future.
Colbert seems genuinely grossed out by the whole business. Check out the first part of his commentary:
What do you say? Would you drink humanized milk from a cloned cow? Would you give it your baby? Do you think it’s a solution for people in countries where children don’t get good nutrition? What about the ethics of cloning cows in this way? Let us know your opinion in a comment here or on Facebook.