London, June 18 (ANI): Chinese scientists have developed and unveiled a genetically modified cow whose milk they claim is healthier, triggering fresh alarm over the growth of 'Frankenstein foods'.
The cow, whose embryo was manipulated to include genes from bacteria, produces milk containing healthy omega-3 fats commonly found in fish and which are thought to be good for arteries and heart.
The Chinese scientists said the creation of the GM cow could have huge health benefits for humans, the Daily Mail reported.
Dr Guang-Peng Li, who is leading the research at Inner Mongolia University, said it was an 'efficient and economical approach to meet the increasing demand for omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids'.
Meanwhile a second team at the university has created a calf to produce milk, which is low in lactose, which some people find hard to digest.
The success of the groundbreaking project could help those who lack the ability to digest milk.
Ordinary milk contains lactose, while milk produced by our modified cow will have relatively low content of lactose, or even have no lactose, Dr Zhou Huanmin, a director at Inner Mongolia University where the cow was created, told the Sunday Telegraph.
Most people suffer the lactose intolerance in varying degree. We are attempting to breed a dairy cow that produce low lactose milk for supplying the market. We hope to commercialise it in the future, Dr Huanmin added.
The scientists created 14 different embryos, and after implanting them into the wombs of surrogate cows, three calfs were born in April who were able to carry the low-lactose genes, although two died almost immediately.
The surviving calf - named Lucks by researchers - is anticipated to begin producing the low-lactose milk in about two years after it is able to give birth itself.
Despite the apparent success of the project and the benefits to those suffering from intolerances, however, the move has intensified the debate surrounding the safety and ethics of Genetically Modified food.
Campaigners have said GM research causes unnecessary suffering to animals and called for it to be stopped.
This simply isn't a morally responsible direction for farming to be heading in, Wendy Higgins, from the Humane Society International, told the Sunday Telegraph. (ANI)