According to a new study, human breast milk bought by parents over the internet is not safe enough as 10% of these milk samples contained added cow’s milk.
The study, which was conducted by the researchers from multiple Children’s Hospitals across the country, and published in the journal Pediatrics, states that 10% of breast milk bought over the Internet is tainted with cows’ milk.
Dr. Sarah A. Keim of the Center for Biobehavioral Health, and the lead author of the study, said, “The risk of buying breast milk over the Internet is high due to the fact that in every 10 samples, one contained indicative measures of cow’s milk. If babies who suffer from a lactose allergy or a severe intolerance to cow’s milk are being fed this kind of milk, they can develop very harmful reactions.”
For their study, the researchers analyzed more than 100 samples of human milk ordered online from websites that encourage sharing extra milk within the community. Around 10% of them tested positive for bovine DNA, with the majority of them containing enough DNA to suggest that the breast milk had more than an accidental or insignificant trace of cow’s milk.
The researchers also conducted a survey amongst parents who buy milk online, to know whether their children suffer from any other allergy, besides asking other questions. They found that more than 20% of the people buying human milk from such websites had a baby suffering from a medical condition, 16% of which ordered milk online because their baby had formula intolerance. They also found that out of 500 women, only 25% thought milk sharing was a viable feeding option.
“We are concerned that, as money was exchanged in these transactions so there might be an incentive to boost milk volumes in order to make more money,” added Keim.
The researchers added that it would be nice if the women, who produce extra milk, would donate to a milk bank of a charitable organization, rather than using milk-sharing websites.