Originally published October 20 2012
Drinking milk from genetically-modified cows will make dairy allergies much more prevalent
by Jonathan Benson, staff writer
(NaturalNews) Scientists from New Zealand have successfully developed a new breed of genetically-modified (GM) cow they say produces 96 percent less of a supposedly allergenic protein known as beta-lactoglobulin (BLG), which aids in the absorption of vitamin A. But the so-called "hypoallergenic" GM cow also produces twice the normal amount of casein, another more common dairy allergen that afflicts roughly three percent of the overall population, according to estimates.
The purported idea behind the project was to deliberately modify cow genes using RNA interference (RNAi) in order that children with alleged BLG sensitivity or allergy could once again drink cow's milk. But as is the case with all other GMOs, the intended genetic alterations led to other unintended alterations, which in this case included the production of far more casein, which is not affected by heat processing in the same way as BLG, than normal.
According to Anower Jabed and his colleagues from the government-run biotechnology group AgResearch, which led the project, a series of alterations to the normal gene expressions of both mice and cows ultimately led to the discovery, which the team is hailing as an incredible success. And yet, the study, which was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, fails to address the fact that the GM milk's other changes will actually cause a huge spike in other types of dairy allergies.
More casein means more dairy allergiesCommenting on the study, Dr. Robert Wood, Director of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology at Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore, Maryland, explained that the doubling of casein protein in GM milk will likely trigger many more cases of milk allergy than are currently diagnosed. As quoted by GMWatch.org, Dr. Wood said the so-called "breakthrough" milk is actually "probably the worst-case scenario for most of [his] patients" -- in other words, GM milk will become a primary cause of the very thing it is said to prevent.
Not surprisingly, the mainstream media is nowhere to be found in addressing this important facet of the study's findings. Rather than critically examine the implications of how this new "Frankenmilk" will most definitely lead to more milk allergies, biotechnology industry whores like the Los Angeles Times are actually bemoaning the fact that GM milk will not be approved quickly enough because it still has to go through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)'s regulatory rigmarole. (http://gmwatch.org)
Pasteurization destroys BLG, which means most children with milk allergies are actually allergic to something elseAnother glaring inconsistency in the study is the fact that BLG is mostly destroyed through pasteurization anyway, which means genetically-engineering cows not to produce it is completely useless. Since the vast majority of children drink pasteurized milk products, those with milk allergies must be allergic to something else like lactose -- pasteurization destroys the lactase enzyme, which is necessary for processing lactose -- or casein, and not BLG.
At the same time, numerous studies, including one published in the journal Allergy back in 2008, verify that pasteurizing milk actually makes it more allergenic. Raw milk, on the other hand, which contains intact BLG and a host of digestive enzymes and nutrients that are otherwise denatured or destroyed during pasteurization, is often fully digestible for people with "lactose intolerance" and other milk allergies. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18588554)
What this all suggests, of course, is that many milk allergies are actually a result of milk processing methods, and not necessarily milk itself. And these allergies will only be exacerbated as a result of genetic modification, as is obvious in the new study's findings.
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