Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Genetic Cattle and Human Breast Milk?

Human and Animal rights activists - prepare your signs!  A news article posted in the Telegraph, a UK news source on April 02, 2011 shares with us a scary prospect: Mixing Human and Bovine DNA to produce "HUMAN" breast milk from a cow!

Science Correspondent Richard Gray tells us the story of how 300 cows have been successfully altered with human DNA so that they will produce milk that reportedly has the same properties as human breast milk.

This creates concern for me, as I feel that our food (especially livestock) has been altered enough - but we are only now starting to discover the effects of how hormone and genetic alteration of our food sources are affecting our bodies today - especially towards obesity and it's associated ailments.

There will be people on both sides who will feel passionate about their cause, but keep in mind the bottom line, as that is what often drives all business decisions:  Who will gain the most?

Will it be the children of tomorrow?  Will it be the parents?  Will it be the Governments of the World?  Obviously it will be the company that successfully creates it first / the healthiest option first.  Let's look at just what WIC (Woman, Infants and Children) program could spend on this form of 'milk':

2010 Fiscal Year spending for WIC:                             $6.5 BILLION Dollars *
Number of Breast Feeding Mothers on WIC (2005):                         571,097**
Number of Non-Breast Feeding Post-Partum Mothers (2005):         634,380
Number of Infants on WIC (2005)                                                    2,174,232
Number of Children Under age 5 on WIC (2005)                             4,862,944
Number of cans of Formula each infant gets a month:                      31 Cans
Gallons of milk allowed per child each month                                  4 Gallons

Percentage of children on WIC  vs. the number who qualified (2005):        74%

Number of infants born in the U.S. in 2009                                  4,300,000***
(Side Note:  340,000 of those infants were born of illegal immigrants which are now 'anchored' here)

GRAND TOTAL = A new TRILLION DOLLAR industry after all possible global markets are included!

The Telegraph reports that the scientists in China will be focusing on commercial funding / research over the next three years and expect that the milk will be on the shelves 10 years from now.  The current study is being funded by a "major biotechnology company" which is unnamed.

Due to the money involved, and the fact that the alterations and studies are being done in China, I will assume that this project will go to completion - with or without American input.

SO- here are some things that we should consider:
1- What will the effects be to children?
2- What will be the effects to the future of cattle and their offspring? (will these altered cows breed?)
3- Should the milk be allowed to be sold here in America?
4- What can we do to ensure that detailed studies are conducted before the products are allowed to be sold here?
5- What can the population do (individually and as a group) to ensure that this process will be tracked and honestly reported?
6- Is it something that the Tax payer should pay for?
7- What will it do to current farmers / ranchers and the laws that affect them?
8- Will these cows fall into a new condition/classification that will allow them "Human Rights" in addition to their animal rights?

I know that #8 may sound silly - but really - think about it.

Now may be the time to gather together with your friends and family to ensure that natural / organic options will always be available, and that we elect governing officials who are pro-health, not pro-government or pro-big business.

This land is ours...  Let's use our Voice - and the Freedom that so many men and women have so valiantly risked their lives for.


* According to USDA Food and Nutrition Service (WIC) report.  This info can be found on the USDA  FNS site.
** According to a PPT study done by Bluffton University - 2006   www.bluffton.edu/~capstone/2005-06/Fall/LAS400-5/wic.pps
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