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Laws on selling Breast milk

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Are there any laws in any states banning the sale of breast milk? I am *very* aware of the social ramifications that could be caused by women selling breast milk (weaning early, taking advantage of underprivileged, disease etc) But I am in a conversation with someone who is only intrested in documented facts.

I know this has been hashed out a lot here, I was hoping someone may have a good link bookmarked.

(Lurkers, visit milkshare via Yahoo groups and DONATE you milk to needy mamas and babies! Breast milk is a birthright, not a commodity!)
post #2 of 8
I do not believe there are any laws governing the sale of BM. I do know that there is at least one FOR PROFIT BM bank that charges an arm and a leg for the milk. I know NOT FOR PROFIT banks charge about $3/oz. This FOR PROFIT bank charges about 10 times that.
post #3 of 8
There are definitely laws about selling "bodily fluids" which I think includes BM. Sorry, no links here, but when I looked at it awhile back, it seemed like I could do it illegally, but not legally.
post #4 of 8
I'm pretty sure the CDC has ruled that breast milk isn't a "bodily fluid". I'd imagine that designation was so women could store BM in the fridge at work, etc. and not to sanction selling. But ultimately I don't think it's actually against the law. eBay and I think Craig's List have specific rules against it which I'd imagine they wouldn't need if it were actually against the law.
post #5 of 8
Ok, there is at least two States - NY and CA that have laws against it. But this was based upon a question I found on yahoo answers and was about a year old.

This MSNBC article is about 2 years, closer to 3, old, and it is not illegal in Iowa..

post #6 of 8

It is considered a bodily fluid as that is exactly what it is. Aids and other diseases can be passed through breast milk.

post #7 of 8

Of course breastmilk is a body fluid but it doesn't require special precautions according to CDC. If the CDC were to issue warnings about breastmilk being a hazardous body fluid it would be easier to make laws prohibiting selling or sharing breastmilk. 


"CDC does not list human breast milk as a body fluid for which most healthcare personnel should use special handling precautions. Occupational exposure to human breast milk has not been shown to lead to transmission of HIV or HBV infection."



post #8 of 8

Here is a link to a good article called Liquid Gold




I read the California breastfeeding laws and I didn't see anything that said it was against the law for an individual to sell her milk. I could be wrong or I may not have found the most recent laws. My laptop isn't functioning well. What is says is that milk bank and hospital employees aren't selling milk by doing their job. You can find California laws by doing a Google search.


From what I have read it will be difficult to prohibit the sale of milk by calling it a hazardous fluid. There have been no cases of babies becoming ill from milk sharing. How they may be able to prohibit the practice is by calling human milk a food and regulate selling human milk as a food product. Interesting. 

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