Sunday, December 20, 2009

Mothers held to ransom as breast milk sharks charge $1000 | The Courier-Mail

Suellen Hinde

December 20, 2009 12:00am

A BLACK market in breast milk has developed in Australia as families desperate to feed their babies the natural elixir are being charged up to $1000 a litre on the internet.

Mothers held to ransom as breast milk sharks charge $1000 | The Courier-Mail

The news comes after The Sunday Mail revealed last week that the Gold Coast milk bank – which receives no government funding – may have to close in February if it doesn't raise $50,000 through donations or sponsorship to cover the cost of its pasteurisation unit.

RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) lactation expert Dr Jennifer James said she was aware of the growing unregulated black market.

"It is very dangerous because in an unregulated fashion there are no checks and balances, the milk would not have been tested for viruses and bacteria," Dr James said.

"Women are being put in this insidious position because of a lack of breast milk banks nationally.

"They have no option but to look outside the system."

The risky practice has increased with the advent of the internet where women advertise their milk for sale".

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