Dutch scientists create genetically engineered cows to produce fortified milk
A Dutch biotechnology company called Pharming has genetically engineered cows, outfitting females with a human gene that causes them to express high levels of the protein human lactoferrin in their milk. According to Pharming's website, the protein —which is naturally present in human tears, lung secretions, milk and other bodily fluids—fights against the bacteria that causes eye and lung infections, plays a key role in the immune system of infants and adults and improves intestinal microbial balance, promoting the health of the gastro-intestinal tract. “Since the protein has the ability to bind iron, is a natural anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral, is an antioxidant and also has immunomodulatory properties, large groups of people might benefit from orally administered lactoferrin,” the company literature reads. Scientists have tested the toxicity of the protein—isolated from the cows' milk—on rats. They found that—even at the high level of 2,000 mg recombinant human lactoferrin per kg body weight—orally consumed human lactoferrin has no adverse effects to complement all the supposed benefits already mentioned.