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Online Shoppers Beware - Human Milk Purchased on Internet Can be Contaminated

4/6/2015
In today’s digital world, shoppers can buy anything online, including human breast milk. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends against providing infants human milk from unscreened donors, some mothers unable to feed their child breastmilk are turning to the uncertainties of such donors. For the study, “Cow’s Milk Contamination of Human Milk Purchased via the Internet,” in the May 2015 Pediatrics (published online April 6), researchers tested 102 Internet samples of milk and found 11 percent were contaminated with store bought cow’s milk or milk-based formula powder. Of the positive samples, 10 were high enough to rule out incidental contamination. Cow’s milk can be problematic in infants with a milk allergy or intolerance. Because buyers have little way to test the milk they purchase online, parents should be aware the milk they are buying online might not be 100 percent human milk and use extreme caution.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 62,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.


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