A cow has been genetically modified so it produces milk that lacks an allergy-producing protein. Beta-lactoglobulin can cause diarrhea and vomiting in some toddlers but it has been eliminated from the milk of a cow in New Zealand using a technique called RNA interference.
Back in 2006, scientists in New Zealand found that a short piece of genetic material called microRNA interferes with another genetic chunk, messenger RNA, and prevents the production of beta-lactoglobulin. So they added DNA that encodes the production of this protein-blocking microRNA into cow embryos. Out of roughly 100 embryos, one calf produced beta-globulin-free milk.
The scientists behind the research at AgResearch in Hamilton are confident other GM techniques could prove even more effective.
Ironically, the research team is unable to taste the milk from their hypoallergenic cow – drinking it is prohibited under New Zealand law. In fact, almost no GM animal has been approved for consumption by regulatory authorities around the world.