Slow Food

GM Cows, Fast Cheese?

Italy - 28 Jan 03

The news from New Zealand that cows have been genetically modified to produce milk with higher than normal levels of protein/casein is yet another confirmation that genetic modification is a dangerous folly that will benefit neither society’s well-being nor the quality of the food we eat.

“Who needs milk to coagulate faster?” asked Piero Sardo, Slow Food’s Director for Typical Products Projects. The time it takes to make cheese naturally has always allowed for outstanding cheeses. To artificially accelerate this time would only serve the interests of the producers: there would be no improvement in quality, no therapeutic purpose, no attempt to protect biodiversity - just an increase in production and consequently in profit.

The consequences would be dire: this technology would upset traditional techniques and alter the criteria of typicality. Ultimately it would be the consumer who paid the price.

As an argument in favor of biogenetic applications, it is often affirmed that GMOs can solve the problems of world hunger. This latest worrying experiment demonstrates that they will serve only to make producers in rich countries even richer.