TSA And Breastmilk? - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-29-2010, 10:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just saw a clip on youtube of a mother trying to get the TSA to follow their own guidelines for breastmilk - very frustrating. 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XhnZlmLGK8

 

Does anyone know if any particular group is working on this?  Has this been discussed before?  I know we've seen news stories about this before (some of which prompted the TSA to change its official policy with breastmilk) but it doesn't look like all the TSA employees/managers are aware of/supportive of/enforcing the policies, even when they're shown to them. 

 

Here are two TSA links about breastmilk. 

 

TSA breastmilk information page:

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/children/formula.shtm

 

And here is the "liquid medication" information which includes their guidelines for asking that the medication (or breastmilk) not be put through their X-Ray machine. 

 

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/specialneeds/editorial_1059.shtm


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Old 11-30-2010, 12:55 AM
 
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I have traveled with breastmilk in bottles 5-6 times and haven't had any problems. Usually I have a bottle of pumped milk and then 1-2 frozen bags with about 4-5oz of milk in them. I haven't flown this the NEWEST (ie groping/backscatters) regulations, but I flew in October and had no problems


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Old 11-30-2010, 01:47 AM
 
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Unbelievable! :(


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Old 11-30-2010, 12:48 PM
 
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That's really terrible. I can't imagine what their motivation was.

 

I flew earlier this month -- with Baby, so milk was still in breasts! I took a big unopened bottle of water in the diaper bag, since I knew babies weren't required to follow the liquid rules and I have to drink water all the time to keep up supply -- especially then since she was in a growth spurt.

 

The TSA agent got huffy, and I told him it was necessary to make Baby's food (with breast milk this is certainly true, and I figured formula-feeding moms might bring room temp water so they don't have to mix with the refrigerated stuff at the airport). He was very rude and said "That's not for the baby!" like I was trying to pull a fast one, and took it away. I know they have rules, but anyway if that was against policy he could have been polite. I'm not sure why it's fun to harass moms.


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Old 11-30-2010, 08:04 PM
 
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This situation is maddening.  The problem was that she flies this route every week and had been having this problem.  She complained and thought that it was taken care of, but apparently, the complaint only made them madder and they made her miss her flight.   I got my info here.


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Old 12-01-2010, 03:18 PM
 
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I've also read that the incident in the video was in retaliation for an earlier complaint. I wrote a blog post about the whole incident here, which is even more horrifying than the tape shows -- she claims that the TSA finally gave her the tape after several requests, but they had somehow erased more than half-an-hour of the ordeal, including the part where the TSA manager demands her personal information on a slip of paper and then pockets it, Roger Ebert from the Chicago Sun-Times also has more information that he says came directly from the woman involved. She says she is looking for an attorney to represent her, but hasn't found anyone yet.

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Old 12-01-2010, 04:40 PM
 
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This whole incident is disturbing. I've flown with expressed milk before, but I honestly can't remember if we had it go through x-ray or not. The woman from TSA was very friendly and stopped me from opening the bottle. She told me there's no need with their new testing material. She waived some "sniffer" thing over it and waited for the response. However, the airport I went to had some test strip and they tested from the area where you screw the nipple on. Knowing that breast milk contains live human cells I definitely object to putting it through the machine. If the containers are opened I would want it done in a sterile environment too. There's no need to expose the milk to the nasty airborne crap at airports. I really hope she is able to find a lawyer to help her. TSA is clearly not following their own rules here.


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Old 12-02-2010, 07:48 AM
 
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Old 12-02-2010, 03:20 PM
 
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Does anyone know if there is an update on this for that lady? Has she flown again? Any lawsuits filed? I get so raging mad when I see/read stuff like this.


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Old 12-02-2010, 03:31 PM
 
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I am working with this mom and will be posting a litigation update on my blog soon. smile.gif

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Old 12-02-2010, 08:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, MamaJake, I suspected that if anyone knew what was going on, you would.  :) 


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Old 12-05-2010, 06:59 PM
 
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Here is the update on this mom: 

 

http://www.sustainablemothering.com/2010/12/05/breast-milk-mom-prepares-to-sue-the-tsa-over-detention/

 

Looking forward to everyone's thoughts. :)


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Old 12-06-2010, 05:36 AM
 
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Thanks for the update.  I'm so glad she is standing up to those bullies.

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Old 12-09-2010, 05:03 PM
 
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The TSA has issued a public response concerning the video.  Armato is planning a response to what the TSA has written but this is pretty interesting.


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Old 12-09-2010, 07:53 PM
 
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Can't wait to hear her response. Why don't they just come out and say that she was right and her breast milk should have been screened the way she asked...


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Old 12-09-2010, 07:59 PM
 
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An hour ago The TSA Blog added an update saying all proper procedures were followed. Hmm.

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Old 12-09-2010, 08:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamajake View Post

An hour ago The TSA Blog added an update saying all proper procedures were followed. Hmm.


I just read this and I don't see how they can claim they followed proper screening procedures. Did they follow proper procedures by not following their own rules?


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Old 12-09-2010, 08:28 PM
 
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Good question. wink1.gif I think someone at the TSA realized they were admitting liability in the original post.

The comments there are wonderful. It is great to see so much support for this mom from outside of the breastfeeding world.



Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsberman View Post





I just read this and I don't see how they can claim they followed proper screening procedures. Did they follow proper procedures by not following their own rules?




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Old 12-11-2010, 11:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for keeping us posted, MamaJake! 

 

I'm simply blown away that they would claim that what happened followed their procedures (yet they retrained their agents???) -- and claiming that the mother has received a letter of apology and acknowledged it?  I suppose they think that they can turn that into a he said/she said situation ....  Ugh.


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