Fonterra's biotech arm ViaLactia must reject human-cow hybrids as unethical, following announcements of Chinese scientific experiments that are likely to have involved unacceptable deformities in animals.
An unreferenced and scanty report on GE milk containing human genes is filled with errors, and media reports indicate a GE herd of 200 to less than 45. This indicates a high failure rate, similar to AgResearch's transgenic cloning in New Zealand AgResearch.
The notion of making human-cow milk is also flawed in terms of health-giving properties of mothers' milk. Milk is adapted for the new born by the mother for her child. Each mother's milk provides a unique combination of antibodies that are specific to a child’s or animals growth. Human milks contain antibodies that are specially adapted to human immune protection and cows carry totally different types of anti bodies for their calves.
“The transgenic creation of human /cow milk is ill-conceived and cruel to sentient animals. Animals should not pay for man's arrogance and lack of ethical balance in the application of powerful technologies,” says Claire Bleakley from GE-Free NZ in food and environment.
"The Bio-Ethics Council warned against such abuses with its call for further review, but it has been abolished for its pains."
Fonterra is setting up five modern day dairy farms in China. These farms could be up to 10,000 cows housed in indoor stalls with little regulation on animal welfare grounds. This is as potentially damaging as the 'melamine ‘ disaster and could further deepen the terrible reputation for safety that San Lu in China already brought Fonterra.
The question needs to be asked if our leading market Milk brand that is supported by the New Zealand farmer shareholders has any involvement in this transgenic Chinese platform. Were they instrumental in providing New Zealand cows for this terrible experiment? Fonterra is red listed in the True Food guide in Australia . Are they undercutting the New Zealand farmer shareholders who supply it with GE Free, grass fed milk?
Claire Bleakley 06 3089842 / 027 348 6731
Jon Carapiet 0210507681
22/03/2011 China to produce ''human milk'' from GM cows, MSN.news http://news.in.msn.com/international/article.aspx?cp-documentid=5062738
Field notes: China needs dairy advice. (p4) Manawatu Standard, 29th March. http://www.kpmg.com/NZ/en/IssuesAndInsights/ArticlesPublications/Field-notes/Documents/Field-Notes-Issue-69.pdf