With surge of online sales, breast milk has become a commodity — and not just for infants, says an editorial published in the journal Breastfeeding Medicine.
The practice of breast milk-sharing among mothers has evolved into an internet-based marketplace in which this valuable commodity is being bought and sold not only to feed babies but as a “natural superfood” for body builders and athletes, the editorial said.
“Clearly, breast milk has become a commodity,” said Arthur Eidelman, editor-in-chief of Breastfeeding Medicine.
As women recognise its commercial value, “the altruistic donation of breast milk to regulated non-profit human milk banks is being threatened”.
“Internet-purchased breast milk may also be risky due to dilution with cow’s milk or bacterial contamination due to improper storage and refrigeration,” the editorial warned.