Scientists at the Mongolian Agricultural University in China say they have produced a genetically modified calf which will produce low-lactose milk in about two years. In May of 2011 the researchers transplanted an lactose dissolution enzyme into 14 Holstein embryos. Xinhua News Agency reports the calves were born on April 24, three carried the enzyme but only one of those survived and she is healthy and strong.
The researchers say the enzyme can convert lactose, the main sugar found in dairy products into glucose making it more digestible for lactose-intolerant people. Currently about 60 percent of Chinese people have some degree of lactose intolerance.
Wisconsin Ag Secretary Ben Brancel and a trade delegation are in China this week seeking to expand the Badger State’s business with a particular focus on the dairy industry. Chinese officials told the delegation the average citizen consumes about 2.5 gallons of milk per year compared to 7.5 gallons per year in Japan and South Korea and more than 20 gallons in the U.S.
The Chinese government wants to increase that per capita consumption which means they need to increase production and they are relying upon Wisconsin expertise in that endeavor. You can follow the delegation on Facebook /widatcp.