WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) -- Some landlocked Canadian cows are enjoying a little seafood with their hay and grain so they can produce a new kind of milk being touted for its benefits for the brain, eyes and nerves.

The milk, produced by herring-fed cows in Ontario, provides a fatty acid also common in salmon, trout and mackerel to diets of people who don't eat enough fish, said Larry Milligan, a researcher at the University of Guelph, which developed the milk.

But it doesn't taste fishy, Milligan said Tuesday.

"I don't detect any difference whatsoever from regular milk," he said.

The milk is sold in Ontario by Neilson Dairy, a subsidiary of George Weston Ltd. , Canada's largest food processor and distributor.

At $5.29 (Canadian) per four liters ($3.98 for 3.5 quarts), it's more than 20 percent pricier than regular milk, but similar in cost to calcium-enriched milk.

The fatty acid, called docoshexaenoic acid, or DHA, is an omega-3 fatty acid that is also found in omega-3 eggs, nuts and canola oil.

Ninety grams (three ounces) of cooked Atlantic salmon contains 1.2 grams of DHA, a week's worth of what the body needs, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Drinking three cups of the fortified homogenized milk provides 0.06 grams of DHA, Neilson said.

Children can get almost 60 percent of recommended DHA by drinking two cups of the new milk a day, it said.

But one food activist said the nutritional claims are a red herring used for marketing.

"I'm frankly so skeptical of all the dietary claims: one thing is good for you, and then it's not," said Brewster Kneen, publisher of The Ram's Horn journal, which rails against biotechnology and multinational food processors while promoting organic farming.

http://edition.cnn.com/2004/TECH/sci...eut/index.html