The UK government has put the kibosh on a London, England ice-cream shop that made headlines last week for it’s breastmilk ice-cream. Minor Topics covered the story and questioned the legality of it’s resale as well as the safeness of such a product. Several dangerous viruses, contaminants and diseases can be contracted through breastmilk and some drugs can also be passed through breastmilk. Most countries have established it unlawful to buy bodily fluids on the open market.
The ice-cream shop, Icecreamists, has shot back defending the safety of their product. They claim the donated milk has been pasteurized and put through the same screening process as blood donations. According to the Washington Post, the founder contends that he’s unaware of any law prohibiting the sale of breastmilk in retail foodstuffs. He also laments the potential loss of sales:
Baby Gaga ice cream sold out as soon as it launched on Friday.
The pasteurization process destroys some key nutrients, leaving doubts as to how much of this is simply a publicity stunt. The American FDA has released a statement saying that there is simply a lack of data for evidence-based determination regarding the most important criteria to assure recipient safety, even with the pasteurization process. Preliminary data would suggest that the risk is minimal however. In the U.S., the only legal way to obtain safe, donated breastmilk is through the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. They also take donations. Currently, it is illegal to sell breastmilk online, privately and through retail networks in the U.S..