FDA to Approve Cloned Milk
Today will be the final opportunity for us to act
to end cloned milk from being approved by FDA. The
implications are enormous, and I ask you to send
one email or make one phone call in this effort.
If 1,000 or more readers act, we shall win.
The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) will soon approve milk
from cloned cows for human consumption. FDA regulators
incorrectly believe that milk from cloned cows is identical
to the milk that is currently being sold. My research
indicates that it is very much different.
You can contact FDA in this pre-approval period. Go to:
Let FDA know that the Journal of Cloning and Stem
Cells, Volume 5, November 3, 2003) revealed that in each
breed of cow, protein and fat levels of milk from cloned
cows changed dramatically, and the newly cloned animals
had to have been under stress, for the somatic cell
count of their milk (number of pus cells) increased by a
factor of 36%.
Depending upon the breed, milk from cloned cows contains
10-12.5 percent additional protein, and 5-13 percent
less fat. Of greatest concern are the levels of a
protein hormone called insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I).
Consider that cow IGF-I may very well be the key factor
in the growth and proliferation of every human cancer.
Remarkably, the Editor-in-Chief, Ian Wilmut, Ph.D.,
writes these words in an editorial contained in that
same November 3, 2003 issue of Cloning and Stem Cells.
(Volume 5, number 3):
"Experience shows that it is very difficult to
predict either the outcome of research or the ways
in which new techniques will be applied."
I spoke with the senior author of the study (she
teaches at the University of Utah) and was surprised
that she did not perform an assay on the levels of
bovine growth hormone (bGH) or insulin-like growth
factor (IGF-I) in milk. I was even more surprised
at her lack of knowledge regarding protein hormones.
Her analyses included only caseins and blood proteins.
Before my critique of the milk study performed by
Marie K. Walsh, et. al., you should understand four
major variables that must be considered when testing
milk. First, every cow is different. Every cow gives
a milk containing varying amounts of fat,
proteins, and hormones. Second, there are distinct
differences between species of cows. For example,
milk from Jerseys or Guernsey's might have more
protein than milk from Holsteins, while Brown
Swiss might have a higher fat content. Third, herds
of cows on different farms eat different diets,
so milk from different feeds can produce distinct
differences in mineral content, certain fats (such
as conjugated linoeic acid), and protein yield.
Fourth, cows experience fourteen different lactation
cycles. Milk yield and milk components differ greatly
from one cycle to another.
Each time the scientists found evidence of a difference,
they dismissed that difference by blaming an error
in the design protocol, such as feed differences between
herds. That excuse-making might be appropriate for cocktail
party banter, but it is not appropriate for a publication
in a scientific journal. Note to scientists: design
your studies well, and eliminate such tainted extraneous
Sadly, none of these methods were employed in the above
study, which was performed in a helter-skelter fashion
on a herd of only 15 lactating cows and only 6 control
animals. The milk from cloned cows represented five
distinct genetic lines and three different breeds. The
small size of the sample tested should ring bells
regarding the validity of this study.
To be performed properly on such a small sample, the
only way to analyze milk is to design a study in which
15 cloned and 15 control cows are raised on the same
farm and fed the same feed.
By definition, the entire study is significantly flawed
and therefore invalid, but it is interesting to compare
the conclusions, and analyze whether their own data supports
The overall conclusion of the authors, as published in
the abstract (page 213), is:
"Our results lead us to conclude that there are no obvious
differences in milk composition produced from cloned cows
compared to non-cloned cows."
I carefully examined the available data from tables 1-5
on pages 216-218. In order to perform proper statistical
analyses of data, one must possess data from each animal.
In this case, the data is proprietary and unavailable.
Therefore, I relied upon the data, as presented, and
subtracted and divided when appropriate. Here are my
findings. Keep in mind the conclusion of the researchers
that there are no obvious differences between cloned
and uncloned milk.
Milk from cloned Brown Swiss cows contains more 12.5% more
protein and 5% less fat than un-cloned Brown Swiss cows.
Milk from Holsteins contains more 10% protein and
10% less fat.
Milk from a mixed Holstein/Jersey breed contains more 10%
more protein and 13% less fat.
Farmers and dairymen will not be happy by these numbers.
Dairy farmers receive premiums for milk with high fat
content. Fat becomes ice cream, cheese, and butter. Less
fat means less profits.
Somatic Cell Count (SCC) revealed an average count of 225
million pus cells per liter of milk from cloned cows, and
only 165 million pus cells per liter of milk from non-cloned
cows. Considering the fact that the 15 cows in the cloned
herd are pampered investments, and receive the greatest
amount of care and dairy management, this result must be
very disturbing to dairy industry executives.
That is sure to make farmers unhappy too.
Increased protein counts are like red-light danger signals
posted at railroad crossings. Bells ring; lights flash.
What happens to protein hormones? Do levels of IGF-I
and bGH increase too?
Remarkably, scientists claim to have not measured IGF-I
levels, despite the fact that one of the key researchers
(Michael Bishop) chose IGF-1 as his graduate school
research thesis. How could Dr. Bishop not have measured
IGF-I levels? Perhaps he did. As director of research for
Infagen, the company that invested millions of dollars
in this new technology, high IGF-I levels would have
been the end of cloning. Knowing that this would have
been cloning's potential Achilles Heel, the subject was
ignored. There is but one chance to appeal to FDA. Please
send your comments to:
Mr. John Matheson at
or call 301-827-5895.