The Potential Effect of Two New Biotechnologies on the World Dairy Industry

The Potential Effect of Two New Biotechnologies on the World Dairy Industry

The Potential Effect of Two New Biotechnologies on the World Dairy Industry

The Potential Effect of Two New Biotechnologies on the World Dairy Industry

Synopsis

"Biotechnology is expected, by many observers, to have a significant impact on the world dairy industry over the next decade. In this timely volume, Lovell Jarvis analyzes the potential effect of two biotechnologies - multiple ovulation and embryo transfers (MOET) and recombinant bovine somatotropin (rbST) - on the dairy industry around the world. According to Jarvis's research, the effects of these two technologies will vary greatly between the developed and developing nations. He predicts that the technologies will be most profitable for the developed nations, where their use will increase milk production and strengthen their positions in dairy export markets. Developing country dairy sectors will probably lose from the use of these two biotechnologies, as their own international trade position will be weakened, though their own consumers should benefit. Jarvis concludes his study with a look at alternative approaches that might improve the competitive position of developing countries in the dairy sector." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

Technological change is the main force leading historically to higher milk output, lower costs of production, and lower consumer prices. In recent years, the development of biotechnology has offered the potential for the emergence of new technologies that may further reduce the cost of milk production. This study analyzes the expected profitability, use, and effect of two new biotechnologies. One of these biotechnologies involves the administration to dairy cows of a genetically engineered hormone, recombinant bovine somatotropin (rbST), which can increase milk yields and feed efficiency. The other biotechnology involves the use of drugs to induce multiple ovulation in cows, the subsequent collection and fertilization of the eggs produced, and the transfer of the resulting embryos to other recipient cows. By permitting an increase in the intensity of genetic selection, multiple ovulation and embryo transfer (MOET) can also achieve a more rapid rate of increase in milk yields. The continual creation of first generation (Fl) crossbred dairy calf embryos and their transfer to donor cows also offers an opportunity to increase milk production in some developing countries where crossbred dairy cows are the preferred choice of dairy farmers.

rbST and MOET are among the first two major biotechnologies created. That fact alone has gained them considerable attention. That they are used to produce milk, perhaps the most basic and one of the most widespread foods consumed by man, has heightened interest in their effects. rbST has generated particular attention because of concerns that its use might cause harm either to the cows who are injected with it or to the humans who drink the milk from these cows. Even if rbST is not harmful to human and animal health, there is also concern that its use might so increase milk supply that the disruptions created in the dairy market would bring greater social costs than benefits. MOET has been less discussed in the popular press, probably because MOET has not raised the same health issues. However, the long-term effects of MOET on milk production, milk price, and the structure of the dairy industry should be similar to those of rbST.

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