Commercializing Breast Milk

California-based company, Prolacta, will commercialize human breast milk for sick children.


Since 1943, the service has been provided by non-profit milk banks that collect breast milk from philanthropic mothers. The breast milk is provided to neonatal-intensive care units for premature and sick infants whose mothers are unable to nurse.


In a statement Prolacta made clear that its mission isn't to vie against non-profit milk banks or a mother's own milk. However, Prolacta will buy donated breast milk from independent milk banks, pasteurize it, and sell it back to hospitals to treat underweight newborns. Prolacta eventually hopes its service will benefit babies undergoing heart surgery and chemotherapy. 


Understandably, Prolacta's venture has offended many non-profit breast milk banks. The Human Milk Banking Association of North America stated that it seriously opposes the commercialization of human milk.


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