e360 digest


02 Oct 2012: Genetically Modified Cow
Reportedly Lacks Allergy-Causing Protein

Scientists in New Zealand have produced a genetically modified cow whose milk lacks a protein that causes allergic reactions in people, particularly children. Researchers at the government-owned
Genetically modified cow Daisy
AgResearch
Daisy
AgResearch lab used a cloning procedure — the same one used to create Dolly the Sheep in 1996 — to produce a cow named Daisy that lacks a whey protein known as BLG, or beta-lactoglobulin protein, which provokes an allergic reaction in two to three percent of infants. Stefan Wagner, a scientist on the cloning team, said he and his colleagues now plan to investigate whether the BLG-free milk causes allergic reactions and whether the BLG-free cows will produce less milk than normal cows. Meanwhile, some scientists say that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is moving too slowly to decide whether to allow the production and sale of food from genetically engineered animals. These include a genetically altered salmon that grows much faster than regular salmon, and so-called enviropigs engineered to digest plant phosphorous more efficiently, which could cut feed costs and reduce levels of polluting phosphorous in manure.


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