Purchasing human milk on the internet

Breast milk can be purchased directly through special websites without human milk bank involvement. Investigators from Ohio obtained around 100 breast milk samples from two such sites and cultured the milk. Almost three quarters of them had either Gram negative bacteria or a high bacterial colony count. One out of five was positive for CMV DNA. These colony counts were significantly higher for most bacteria compared to the counts in 20 unpasteurized milk samples donated to a human milk bank. These findings are likely due to poor handling, storage and shipping practices.

Microbial contamination of human milk purchased on the internet. Keim et al 2013.

NY Times article about this topic.October 21, 2013.