A new study finds breast milk sold online could contain potentially dangerous bacteria and, in some cases, salmonella. Brandi Jorgenson of Omaha is chief organizer for the Iowa and Nebraska chapters of “Eats on Feets” — a service that uses Facebook pages to connect local mothers who donate and receive free breast milk. The Iowa page had 263 “likes” on Monday.
“The premise of safe milk sharing and the peer-to-peer sharing is that it’s free,” Jorgenson says. “When you put a price tag on anything, it becomes a commodity, as in people are less likely to be open and honest about…risk factors.”
According to Jorgenson, the most important thing with the “Eats on Feets” network is that women donate their milk for free and the family that receives the breast milk interviews the donor.
If the mother consumes caffeine or is a smoker or occasionally drinks, the receiving mother might decline that milk and find a different donor,” Jorgenson says. “Some donors prefer to have their milk to go to babise who are sick or who are otherwise struggling in some way.”
A study published in the journal “Pediatrics” found three-quarters of the 100 breast-milk samples researchers purchased on-line had some level of contamination. The Mother’s Milk Bank at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is the only organization in the state that is regulated by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. Its milk donations are pasteurized and distributed by prescription.