Canada has become just the fourth country in the world to approve a synthetic dairy protein to be used in a variety of ‘animal-free’ products such as milk, cheese, yogurt and even ice cream.On Tuesday, Israel-based synthetic dairy maker Remilk announced it received a ‘Letter of No Objection’ from Health Canada that will allow it to market its synthesized bovine milk beta-lactoglobulin (BLG), following similar approvals in the US, Israel and Singapore.Beta-lactoglobulin is the whey protein of milk from cows and sheep that is present in other mammals with the exception of humans. It allows ingestion of iron into human immune cells.Except in this case, it’s produced without a single cow via a proprietary fermentation process. In a news release the company said it is identical to cow protein without any lactose, cholesterol or growth hormone..The company said it has exactly the same taste and texture as traditional milk, “without dairy's environmental and health-related drawbacks.”In a statement, it said Health Canada’s approval is an “additional validation of its safety and purity.”“Regulatory approvals serve to not only open new markets for the sale of our proteins but, also, as reassurance for both industry and consumers that our protein is the same milk protein they have been consuming and enjoying for decades," said Remilk co-founder Dr. Ori Cohavi.According Fortune Business Insights, the global ‘dairy alternatives’ market was valued at USD$25.19 billion and is expected to reach nearly $70 billion by 2030. Non-dairy milk alternatives include soy, rice, oats and nuts.But this is the first time a product has been synthesized using an actual non-animal protein similar to actual milk, making it vegan friendly..7% of the Earth’s surface — 1 billion hectares — is being used to feed dairy animals..According to various environmental groups, dairy production is responsible for as much as 3.5% of worldwide emissions depending on how they’re counted. In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) says dairy farming is blamed for fecal water pollution and contamination as well as nitrogen and phosphate loading into rivers and water bodies that cause algae blooms in coastal waters. Chemical pollution with drug residues and heavy metals is a further cause of water contamination from dairy farms, it added.That’s because 7% of the Earth’s surface — 1 billion hectares — is being used to feed dairy animals. Some 3% of Costa Rica’s deforestation can be directly attributed to dairy feeding.“Beyond climate change and water use and pollution, the dairy sector contributes to air pollution, zoonotic pathogens, antimicrobial resistance, land use change and biodiversity loss, and soil degradation,” it said.