13:57 03 October 2012
Based on AgResearch and the University of New Zealand, 3per cent of infants are allergic to cow’s milk in their first year of life because it has whey protein called beta-lactoglobulin (BLG).
It is for this reason that the scientists were happy to find a way to silence the gene responsible for the production of BLG, making the genetically modified cow’s milk more palatable.
Although the resulting calf was born without a tail – according to the BBC - researchers confirmed that all the milk samples it produced are free from any detectable beta-lactoglobulin.
Prof Keith Campbell of University of Nottingham concluded that the process was safe, and he is quoted by the BBC saying: "There are zero risks in my opinion. If it was poisonous, the animal would be dead."
However, Mr. Campbell claims that it’s important for researchers to show proofs that the effect of this experiment is lasting and that it can be passed on through several generations.
On the other hand, Pete Riley from group GM Freeze is reportedly more concerned on learning the reasons why the calf was born without a tail, as this may have a possible link to the experiment.
In a report by the BBC, he said: “Before this goes any further, they need to establish what the cause of the defect in the calf was, as there is a possible link to the GM approach.”
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