Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Milky Way Galactic Empire Report: an introduction

"A long time ago in a galaxy far far away...."

Our heroine, Mary Alactivst, stood in a field of rice owned by a national biotech company. Rice, who would have thought we were related. She stared closely at the field. They have my genes, my genetic blueprint for making milk for my babies. Mary quietly sang a lullaby. These are her babies, her rice babies. Singing to them will help them grow. Grow and feed the starving and sick babies around the world, because women can no longer breastfeed. They have forgotten how. But now we will save the planet. Mothers around the world will be so grateful. And so begins the sad saga of the Milky Way Empire and the Second Invasion of the Clones.

Yes, just a parody on a science fiction movie. But the reality of biotechnology is that we are mixing human genes with animals and plants. How is this happening? Why do I believe that this inventing will ultimately destroy breastfeeding? Stay Tuned. First, let's look at a 2008 Annual Report from the California Dairy Research Foundation (CDRF which discusses the UC Davis Milk Bioactives Consortium. The document states that, "the Consortium is a public-private partnership with over $12M in funding...aimed at discovering compounds in bovine and human milk with proven nutritional benefits for human health." Funding was derived from several commodity groups, governmental agencies, and multinational companies with initial funding from the CDRF and UC Davis Discovery Program. Under 2004-2005 the Milk Bioactives Consortium states,"Relationships with the Milk Bank of San Jose, CA and Reno, NV established to provide supply of human milk for analysis."
nefits for human health."
Does this document mean the HMBANA milk bank at San Jose? Or are there other milk banks in San Jose? In 2007 they raise over $2.7 million from various agencies plus first industrial partnership with DSM Food Ingredients (DSM-Dutch State Mines, provides ARA for Martek oils). In 2008 the NIH provides a $3million award to study the effect of milk oligosaccharides and probiotics to decrease NEC in premature babies. Same year Nestle gives a multi-year donation to the Consortium. Page 7 of the document states, "ProLacta Biosciences and the Milk Bioactives program partner to secure supplies of human milk to mine for future bioactive components."

I call this a fusion of interests in human milk components: industry, US Government, and academia-particularly UC Davis. And this fusion of interest seems to be mining human milk that is provided by milk banks--one milk bank being commercial. Do women who donate fully understand that their donations are part of a huge multi-million project to mine human milk components for use in commercial projects? What is the relationship between this huge project and other endeavors at UC Davis, such as the JHL, or Ventria Bioscience and its gmo rice containing the human genes lysozyme and lactoferrin? Science fiction? This is freaking scary. I was kicked off Lactnet in and around 2004-2005, coincidence? Discussions of human milk component patenting silenced, coincidence? Interesting........

Copyright 2010 Valerie W. McClain

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