Could your milk soon come from cloned cows?
Chinese scientists said they have successfully cloned three “super cows” that can produce an unusually high amount of milk.
Chinese state media hailed it as a breakthrough for China’s dairy industry to reduce its dependence on imported breeds, Reuters reports.
The three calves, bred by scientists from the Northwest University of Agricultural and Forestry Science and Technology, were born in the Ningxia region in the weeks leading up to the Lunar New Year on January 23.
The super cows were cloned from highly productive cows from the Holstein Friesian breed, which originated in the Netherlands. The chosen animals are capable of producing 18 tons of milk per year, or 100 tons of milk in their lifetimes.
That is nearly 1.7 times the amount of milk an average cow in the United States produced in 2021, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
It comes as the United States and Canada are fighting over milk.
The United States on Tuesday said it was seeking a second trade dispute settlement panel over Canada’s dairy import quotas, accusing Canada of not meeting obligations to open its market to American producers.
The move is the latest in longstanding and ongoing tensions between the trade partners over Canada’s protected dairy industry, CNN reports.
U.S. dairy processors want to increase sales to Canada but high tariffs stand in the way.
The U.S. Trade Representative’s Office alleges that Canada uses an unfair approach to determining quota allocations under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade, effectively prohibiting some market participants like Canadian retailers and food service operators from using the allocations.
Canada has tightly controlled supplies of dairy, eggs and poultry since the 1970s, restricting how much farmers can produce and limiting imports through onerous tariffs.
Other dairy-producing countries such as New Zealand say Canada’s controls are an unfair way to shelter the Canadian industry.