The June issue of Wired carries a feature on the Booming Market for Human Breast Milk. You can read about the under-the-counter and over-the-Internet sale of “liquid gold” with a typical asking price in the range of $1 to $2.50 an ounce.
Here’s a taste, from the article:
…“rich, creamy breast milk!” “fresh and fatty!”… Some ship coolers of frozen milk packed in dry ice. Others deal locally, meeting in cafés to exchange cash for commodity…
Late last year, the FDA issued a warning about feeding your child human milk from strangers. Still, the stuff’s barely regulated.
milk containers, Wired Magazine, June 2011
As much as I think it’s a good idea for women to breast feed their babies as best they can, I was pretty shocked to learn about this unregulated industry. Mainly because if a woman who donates milk is infected with a virus, like HIV or HTLV-1, the milk often contains the virus. The infant can absorb the virus and become infected. Feeding human breast milk from an unknown donor is kind of like giving a child a blood transfusion from a stranger, unchecked by any blood bank.
I’m not sure why Wired ran this story, which is admittedly interesting. Maybe it’ll push the FDA to take a more aggressive stance on this matter, as it should.
*This blog post was originally published at Medical Lessons*
Thanks to the always vigilant eyes of Liz Ditz, Ratbags.com is reporting that pediatric immunologist and vaccine developer Dr. Paul Offit, writer Amy Wallace, and Condé Nast (publisher of Wired magazine) are being sued for libel in US District Court by Barbara Loe Fisher, founder and acting president of the so-called National Vaccine Information Center.
Readers will recall that Wallace’s article on Dr. Offit and the fear and misinformation propagated by anti-vaccinationists was the centerpiece of a feature in Wired magazine aptly titled, “Epidemic of Fear.”
My short take: The lawsuit is an attempt to silence or intimidate those who speak out against individuals and organizations that threaten public health. When scientific facts accumulate that refute their views, the response is to file frivolous legal action. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Terra Sigillata*
One of the most engaging and clearly-written pieces of science journalism over the last year or so was published in Wired magazine last week. Amy Wallace’s, “An Epidemic of Fear: How Panicked Parents Skipping Shots Endangers Us All,” is part interview with rotavirus vaccine developer, pediatric infectious disease physician, Dr Paul Offit, and description of the anti-vaccination movement in the United States.
Wallace’s work is the centerpiece a collection of smaller articles providing science-based information about vaccination that also refutes common anti-vaccination myths including “How To Win An Argument About Vaccines” and “The Misinformants: Prominent Voices in the Anti-Vaccine Crusade”.
Wired’s follow-up discussion of the issue includes, “A Short History of Vaccine Panic,” for those of us who “have a day job” and not enough time to read Paul Offit’s 2008 book, “Autism’s False Prophets.”
Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Terra Sigillata - PostRank (PostRank: All)*