Apparently, women all over the world have finally gotten the message that breast milk – no matter who it’s from – is the “gold standard” for feeding their babies. Formula-fed infants are at risk of stomach obstruction, infantile colic, and lifelong immune system dysfunction. In contrast, breastfeeding results in lower rates of ear infections, diarrhea, respiratory infections, and meningitis, and recent studies have shown that breast milk actually contains a protein that fights HIV. It is a no-brainer that breastfed babies have a remarkable advantage from the start of their lives vs. formula-fed infants.
So, when every single media outlet “sounded the alarm” this week over tainted breast milk bought online, I felt I needed to take notice, but not without a degree of caution: These are, after all, the same groups who told us that mercury is good for my child’s brain, and who – despite massive amounts of evidence to the contrary – insisted that having my baby injected with dozens of vaccines before the age of two is healthy, responsible behavior (And that people who refuse to do so are not only irresponsible, they’re “crazy“, “conspiracy theorists”, and even murderers).
Let’s look at a few things these intellectual whores are saying:
Researchers from the Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Ohio State University say that almost three-quarters of human breast milk samples tested contained high levels of harmful bacteria that may cause illness, with the team even coming across fecal contamination.
According to the study, using these milk products for your babies may have adverse effect on their health. The researchers ask buyer to be beware as it can contain potentially dangerous bacteria, including salmonella and STD causing viruses…
“The results are pretty scary. Just imagine if the donor happens to be a drug user. You don’t know,”said Kenneth Boyer, pediatrics chief at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, who was not involved in the study.
Food and Drug Administration has also cautioned against feeding your young ones with these ‘contaminated’ mothers’ milk. These may be possible careers of fatal disease like HIV.
Once again, studies have shown that breast milk contains a protein that specifically fights HIV.
We found a Colorado Springs mom who has used milk from Mother’s Milk Bank for her baby for several months, but before she got it, she too thought about getting milk online.
“I did look online specifically on Facebook there were several milk sharing groups here locally and some nationally,” Mandy Egolf said.
Egolf had problems after two months producing and pumping milk and her baby couldn’t take formula. She looked online and ultimately decided against it.
“I was always uneasy in my heart about that option because they always made it clear that it was up to the ones buying and giving to screen and say you are healthy.”
These unregulated exchanges appear to be on the increase, and they’re putting babies at risk of serious infections, say researchers who bought and tested 101 milk samples from across the country….
Dr. Sheela R. Geraghty, the medical director of Cincinnati Children’s Center for Breastfeeding Medicine and a study co-author, said the practice of sharing and selling milk raises many questions and concerns.
“I want babies to be breast fed … I’m the biggest proponent in this city, but not in this way,” Geraghty said. “We don’t know the situations these moms and babies are getting into.”
She said she also worries about women who continue to pump far beyond what they would normally produce, particularly those who are selling.
“We don’t know what overpumping … does to them. There may be bone loss or nutritional issues for them,” she said….
Shell Walker, an Arizona midwife who runs the milk-sharing site Eats on Feets, said the research proves nothing about milk donated through groups such as hers. Eats on Feets doesn’t involve money and stresses knowing your source as well as how the breast milk is collected, handled and stored.
Walker questioned the study design, pointing out that the researchers didn’t order milk from women who wanted to talk to them on the phone or who asked questions about the baby they were feeding. Keim said that was because they did not want to fabricate a story and mislead sellers.
The Food and Drug Administration is considering regulating breast milk and has recommended against using shared or purchased breast milk.
So, we finally come to the real issue here: Now that many women in the U.S. are supplementing their income by selling their breast milk, the government wants to nip that in the bud (no pun intended). Regulation is the primary tool in the FDA’s toolbox to shut down individual enterprise in the health sector, and this situation is no different.
Another issue I have with the study is the fact that the issue of contamination can be easily resolved by the mothers themselves, through proper hygiene and storage/shipping conditions. Also, like with raw cow’s milk, breast milk does not need to be pasteurized for it to be healthy ; In fact, raw milk has more nutritional value and is less likely to cause symptoms of lactose intolerance than pasteurized milk, and the absolute rate of becoming seriously ill from drinking raw milk is actually as low as 1 in 6 million.
For most species, higher counts were associated with longer shipping time and lower counts with fewer months since the milk was expressed…
“Other harmful bacteria may have come from the use of either unclean containers or unsanitary breast milk pump parts.”
Nineteen percent of the Internet sellers did not include dry ice or use another cooling method, and the temperature of the milk was outside the recommended range, according to the release.
So, what will the breast milk market look like soon? Already, new guidelines are being put into place for the internet breast milk exchange, which include stopping women from being able to sell breast milk to each other without a middle man involved:
An unidentified administrator for the breast milk organization issued a statement over the weekend saying the Incline Village, Nev.,-based group is planning to stop informal “mother to mother” milk sharing and is forming a new milk bank program for sick babies that will involve better donor screening and “professional milk processing.”
“Donors will be fully screened, tested and instructed on safe handling methods,” and will be offered fair compensation, the statement said….
Interestingly enough, even the so-called “safe”, pasteurized breast milk at the milk bank contained positive samples of bacteria:
Breast milk is also provided through milk banks, whose clients include hospitals. They also charge fees but screen donors and pasteurize donated milk to kill any germs. The researchers also found bacteria in some of 20 unpasteurized samples donated to a milk bank but not as much as in the milk bought online.
With Internet sites, “you have very few ways to know for sure what you are getting is really breast milk and that it’s safe to feed your baby,” Keim said.
Sources for bacteria found in the study aren’t known but could include donors’ skin, breast pumps used to extract milk, or contamination from improper shipping methods, she added.
Bottom line: It’s going to be more expensive and difficult for women unable to breastfeed to find sources of breast milk for their babies, and all because a few morons out there don’t know how to be clean. Along with propaganda pieces cleverly designed to convince women that exclusive breastfeeding is “just too hard” and that laziness is a good reason to quit breastfeeding, it looks like the toxic baby formula industry is going to have a few new customers.
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