China / Society

Experts warn over the quality of breast milk sold online

( Updated: 2016-10-18 10:11

In China, breast milk sold online is increasingly popular on websites targeting mothers with newly born children. However, experts warn mothers about the risks of buying breast milk online, reported on Monday, October 17.

Many mothers have turned to the online sale of breast milk as they are unable to produce their own from a high-paced daily life. Mothers who produce excess breast milk have found a platform online to match the demand.

A quick searching for "breast milk" online shows more than 100 stores selling the breast milk. Sold on a platform for second hand products, most of the breast milk is labeled "freshly frozen breast milk".

Online the milk is sold by mls, and every 10mls are sold at the prices between 1.5 - 5 yuan (0.22 – 0.74 USD), sometimes the price can reach up to 10 yuan. The milk is kept frozen and the production date is mostly between September and October. The milk is labeled "caveat emptor". Most of the milk is kept in bags, some in bottles.

But according to regulations from the Law Department of Ministry of Health, breast milk is not a food resource that can be sold as a product, and many health risks can be associated with untested milk.

Li Xuqing, deputy director of the maternity and child care department in Sichuan Province expressed concerns over the sale of milk, "first of all, the source of the milk is questionable, secondly, the child may be allergic to the milk, and thirdly, mothers run a high-risk of their child being infected with hepatitis or AIDS."

"Breast milk is not easily kept and should remain under 18 degrees C if consumed after 96 hours. If the transportation condition is changed, the milk will go bad. Mothers should be careful in buying breast milk online," warns Li.

According to an article by Shanghai Daily, China only has 10 breast milk banks, where the milk is available for free to premature or sick infants. At these facilities, the donors have their blood tested to check for infectious disease, along with the milk being disinfected, frozen and stored for up to 6 months.

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