You've heard of FrankenFood, now meet FrankenGoats, genetically modified ungulates that scientists say can produce something similar to human breast milk.
Not surprisingly, my first reaction on reading this story, posted over at Fast Company, was that of terror. I mean, I don't even want me kids to eat rice that's been genetically modified to withstand pesticides. Why would I want them to drink milk that has come from a genetically modified goat?
But then I leave my cushy first-world bubble and I'm reminded that there are millions of babies that die every year due to diarrhea, a condition which is commonly caused when babies are given formula made with tainted water. For these babies, who for whatever reason are not able to breast feed, a milk that has 60 percent of the lysozyme and lactoferrin found in human mother’s milk, could mean the difference between life and death.
To be clear, I'm still not a fan of anything genetically modified, whether it's beets or breast milk. Personally, I think these research dollars would have been better spent providing clean water to babies in developing nations, or better yet, supporting their mothers physically and financially so that breastfeeding with human breast milk would be an option. But if research like this can lead to a better understanding of what exactly is in human breast milk and how it offers life saving benefits to babies with diarrhea, then I suppose it will have done some good.
What do you think about genetically modified human breast milk?
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