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Fears of GMO baby formula drive moms to buy contaminated breast milk online

| | April 8, 2015
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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Shoes, groceries, furniture, plane tickets—we’re used to being able to buy pretty much whatever we want online. If a pair of heels doesn’t fit, or if they don’t match the description on a website, we can always send them back. But as a new study reveals, it’s one thing to buy footwear online and quite another to press “buy” on a batch of breast milk that will be fed to a baby.

The research, published in the journal Pediatrics, found that 10 of every 100 samples of breast milk sold online “had a level of bovine DNA consistent with human milk mixed with at least 10 percent fluid cow’s milk.”

What would drive a parent to purchase breast milk from someone she doesn’t know? In 1980, about 54 percent of women breast-fed their babies for at least some period of time. But thanks to worries about GMOs in infant formula and the message that breast is best, that number soared to 79 percent by 2011.

Parents are so keen to provide their babies with the health benefits of the substance that, according to the study, more than 55,000 of them have taken to buying it from unregulated milk banks—and they’re taking the word of the seller that the milk they’re purchasing actually comes from a human.

Read full, original article: Baby Formula Has Such a Bad Rap, Moms Are Buying Contaminated Breast Milk Online

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