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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: December 15, 2022 02:29 PM
From: Senator Amanda M. Cappelletti
To: All Senate members
Subject: Prohibiting the Internet Sale of Human Breast Milk
In the near future, I will be reintroducing SB 1118 from the 2021-22 Session. This legislation is intended to curtail the online buying and selling of breast milk. Although extensive research supports the health benefits of breastfeeding, especially for premature or ill infants, online marketplaces for breast milk operate with virtually no regulation. Human milk sold online is not likely to be screened for infectious diseases, such as HIV, or contamination by nicotine, alcohol, prescription drugs, or illegal drugs. Also, it may not be handled using sanitized equipment and containers, stored at the correct temperature, or transported to ensure freshness.   


The United States Food and Drug Administration and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend against feeding infants milk acquired over the internet. Research has found dangerous impurities in human breast milk, including bacterial food-borne illnesses if the milk is not properly sanitized or stored, and infectious diseases including hepatitis, HIV and syphilis. A 2013 study published in the AAP journal found that 74 percent of milk samples purchased over the internet for the study contained bacteria such as those colloquially referred to as staph, strep, salmonella, and E.coli. Approximately 10 percent also contained cow's milk.   


As a result of legislation enacted last session as Act7, Pennsylvania now allows nonprofit milk banks that operate under strict protocols for pasteurization, screening, and transportation to be available to parents whose babies need it. Although milk from regulated milk banks can be expensive, prompting some parents to resort to the internet, the consequences for babies’ health can be serious.   


My bill would prohibit a person from knowingly selling human breast milk over the internet and classify a violation of this law as a summary offense. This bill would not interfere with the informal donation of breast milk among family members and friends. 


Previous co-sponsors of this legislation are Senators Fontana, Kane, Costa, Schwank, and Muth.  


Please join me in cosponsoring this important consumer protection measure. 

Introduced as SB384