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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 5, 2018 10:43 AM
From: Representative Donna Oberlander and Rep. Rosita C. Youngblood
To: All House members
Subject: Keystone Mothers' Milk Bank Act
In the near future, we plan to re-introduce the “Keystone Mothers’ Milk Bank Act”, which would license and regulate donor human milk banks in Pennsylvania.

Donor milk is life-saving medicine for infants with low birth weights of less than four pounds, which prevents the onset of serious gastrointestinal problems that require surgery and entail thousands of dollars in medical costs. Without donor milk, these health issues can continue throughout a person’s life. Donor milk is also medically prescribed for children with heart problems and other compromising health care issues. There is also anecdotal evidence, with additional research underway, that the use of donor milk can aid infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) when an opioid-addicted or recovering mother gives birth and cannot feasibly breastfeed her baby.

Currently, the 24 existing milk banks distribute less than 6 million ounces of break milk each year, while intensive care units alone demand over 63 million ounces annually. As a result, many parents use unregulated online market places to purchase human breast milk. This is a serious issue and the Food and Drug Administration recommends against feeding infants breast milk acquired directly from individuals or through the Internet.

Therefore, we plan to re-introduce this proposed legislation to call on the PA Department of Health (DOH) to license milk banks, if they comply with the law or the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) or another nationally-recognized accrediting organization for the operation of milk banks certifies the milk bank as a member in good standing. This legislation would also create licensing fees and establish prohibited practices that preclude the direct or indirect sale of human milk by any entity not licensed in Pennsylvania.

Please join us in co-sponsoring this lifesaving legislation.

Introduced as HB1001