Deniza Gertsberg, who I have cited previously in this series, posted an article today in GMO Journal that has a very high eauww…yuk factor.
Reuters reports that researchers at the “State Key Laboratory of Agrobiotechnology of the China Agricultural University introduced human genetic coding into the DNA of Holstein dairy cow embryos, then transferred the embryos into cow surrogates,” and in 2003, the first cow producing milk with allegedly “same” nutritional properties as human breast milk was created. Currently, there are over 300 of such cloned cattle that live on an experimental farm in suburban Beijing.
The Chinese experiment resulted in “genetically modified cow milk [that] is 80 percent the same as human breast milk.” That’s not a statement of achievement, that’s a warning to stay away from such products.
The Chinese were motivated to walk down this path after 6 children died and 3000 were stricken ill after a melamime contamination scandal in their dairy industry. Melamine is an industrial chemical used by producers or marketers to fool inspectors looking for protein content, and allows them to water down the product. Why the Chinese would come to the conclusion that splicing pieces of the human gene code into cows would be preferable to….oh, I don’t know….finding a way to test for the presence of melamine say?
But before you go to cursing the Chinese, they are not the only ones guilty of this poor judgement. The Argentines also have a program up and running which is splicing an even larger piece of the human gene code into cows. What could possibly go wrong?
If you need some help putting this in perspective here is Stephen Colbert :
Under the Category of “What in the Hell is Wrong With These People?” is this article on Cultured Meat. With a Hat Tip to our fellow FireDog mzchief who added it to another post in this series on GMOs.
This article from Environmental Science and Technology is an environmental impact study on the “environmentally friendly” Green alternative to “conventional meat”.
Cultured meat (i.e., meat produced in vitro using tissue engineering techniques) is being developed as a potentially healthier and more efficient alternative to conventional meat. Life cycle assessment (LCA) research method was used for assessing environmental impacts of large-scale cultured meat production. Cyanobacteria hydrolysate was assumed to be used as the nutrient and energy source for muscle cell growth. The results showed that production of 1000 kg cultured meat requires 26–33 GJ energy, 367–521 m3 water, 190–230 m2 land, and emits 1900–2240 kg CO2-eq GHG emissions. In comparison to conventionally produced European meat, cultured meat involves approximately 7–45% lower energy use (only poultry has lower energy use), 78–96% lower GHG emissions, 99% lower land use, and 82–96% lower water use depending on the product compared. Despite high uncertainty, it is concluded that the overall environmental impacts of cultured meat production are substantially lower than those of conventionally produced meat.
I don’t care. I really don’t. I’m not eating it. No, uh uh.