Genetically modified calf may produce reduced allergenic milk

For children who suffer from milk allergies, new hope may rest in a calf born in New Zealand.

The tailless calf, which was conceived via cloning and genetic modification, produces milk that contains no detectable beta-lactoglobulin (BLG), one of the allergenic proteins in milk, according to CNN.

Approximately 2 to 3 percent of babies are allergic to cow’s milk in their first year due to the presence of BLG, according to Reuters.

The study comes as fewer women are breastfeeding their children, and instead turn to cow’s milk-based formulas, which contain BLG. After a year, most children outgrow the allergy.

The milk also has more nutritional content than standard cows’ milk, but contains roughly double the amount of casein, a milk protein that may trigger allergic reactions in some people.

BLG-free milk is a long way from hitting store shelves. In addition to having to breed a second generation of the cows, the milk will have to undergo a battery of tests to ensure it’s safe for human consumption, according to CNN.

As of yet, no genetically modified animals have been used for food or to produce food products, such as milk, according to the article.

To read the full article from CNN, click here.

To read the full article from Reuters, click here.

To read the study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, click here.

For a list of Neogen’s milk allergen testing products, click here.

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