Udderly Strange: Chinese Cows Produce “Human” Milk

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

If you thought cloned meat was bad, get ready for this bit of science fiction: GOOD Magazine reports that China has genetically modified a herd of cows to produce “human” milk, intended as a replacement for human breast milk.

Disgusting? Or a viable alternative to infant formula?

Apparently the cow-human milk — it feels wrong to even write that phrase — “contains the characteristics of human milk,” but “tastes stronger.” China’s recent melamine-tainted infant formula scare, which sickened over 300,000 babies, makes this biotech oddity a little more understandable, but as the article points out, an effort to increase awareness of the benefits of breast-feeding would be a simpler solution.

Besides, the components of breast milk are complex, a combination of antibodies, living cells, digestive enzymes, and hormones that science has yet to fully understand. Chinese scientists promise that we’ll be able to pick up “human-milk-like products” at the market within ten years. We hope they’re wrong.

What do you think about this new development? Would you ever buy milk like this?

(Image: Flickr member chatblanc1 licensed under Creative Commons)