Real Milk to be a Thing of the Past?

The End of Raw Milk

Real Milk to be a Thing of the Past? 
By Swagato Chakravorty

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Why exactly is Monsanto’s head of the FDA’s food safety division trying to make real milk disappear? An interesting possibility comes to light thanks to news of an $8.3 million grant awarded to a group of universities by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to help advance research in genetically engineered foods. What’s worrying is that if the FDA bans raw milk, then milk as we know it will become a continually-changing, genetically engineered confection, which can have all sorts of effects on the helpful bacteria that live inside our gut and keep us healthy.
Playing around with the genetic makeup of milk would affect the huge number of dairy products we consume regularly, including yogurt, ice cream, butter, cream cheese, and so on. That, in turn, would affect the bacteria living inside human guts, and which comprises most of our immune system. The NIH, meanwhile, recently released a report that indicates just how essential these bacteria are to keeping humans healthy. Ultimately, then, Gates’ project would hurt not only one key food that we consume, but also the human body’s immune capabilities which rely on that food.
The project will be led by Washington University in St. Louis (a region where Monsanto is especially powerful). The problem with all this is a marked absence of real, organic food being used to combat malnutrition. In a blurb, the University of California–Davis (which is part of the group) stated that “Researchers at the University of California, Davis, will join an international effort to develop new ways to diagnose, treat, and prevent malnutrition in infants and children around the world.” If Gates really wants to combat malnutrition, why is his grant designed to promote genetically engineered foods, and even to replace real milk with a ‘designer’ product?
Nutritionist Kathryn Dewey at UC–Davis stated that ““This multidisciplinary project will allow us to expand our understanding of how to prevent infant malnutrition, which is a major focus of the UC Davis Program in International and Community Nutrition.
The results of these experiments will provide critical information about whether the lipid-based nutrient supplements that we are evaluating in ongoing research have an influence on the collection of microorganisms in the human gut, which will help us understand the impact of our interventions on child growth."
The UC–Davis team will investigate the complex sugars in human breast milk and try to identify specific bacteria in infant guts with a view toward isolating such bacteria which can react with components found in commercial dairy products to enrich the natural protection of mothers’ milk.