Dairy giant Fonterra has bought the rights to use certain bits of human DNA…
Does this disturb you? It doesn’t really bother me. After all, most humans are mildly allergic to non-human milk, but you’re never going to find a human-milk industry in mainstream agriculture on Earth, and any images of one are strictly for propaganda use.
Yes, it’s a nasty image. Look at it up close, you can do that too if you want, and you should. And then remind yourself that it’s a dramatic bit of propaganda. There will be no human milk-farms, not in the next couple of centuries anyway. (Probably never… developing women genetically to produce the kind of milk necessarily would result in some rather deformed women.)
But you know, a human-specific milk product, if it could be gotten without an ounce of human suffering, would be great. People would probably have better health in general. And there are several ways in which this could be possible!
First of all, animals could be modified to provide milk which, if it isn’t identical to human milk, is close enough to fool our bodies. Or maybe they could be modified to produce human milke, even.
Or what about if these companies found a way to grow human milk in huge tanks? If it were healthier, and the original source were regular, healthy human milk, I can’t imagine any sensible opposition to the idea.
The notion that all Genetic Modification is bad, is wrong. It’s just that we need to be incredibly careful about it. Chances are genetic modification could do a great deal of good… not only (but especially) in that most biological of businesses, agriculture.
Credit: Thanks Metafilter.