The past few decades have witnessed an increase in the demand for breast milk, and the promotion of it due to its health benefits has contributed to this increase, which prompted parents and caregivers to buy it.

The Conversation website addressed the issue of the spread of companies that sell breast milk and a range of products made from it in many parts of the world.

Bodybuilders and those who follow the "clean eating" system are also using it, and thus mother's milk - which was previously only traded with friends and milk banks - became a product in a new milk market from which to reap profits.

Companies that produce a range of breast milk products are spread all over the world, including India, Cambodia, the United States and England, and these products include infant formula designed to be the sole source of nutrition, and varieties of other nutritional supplements.

Breast milk trade is now a serious source of profit (Getty Images)

According to the site's report, breast milk products are often marketed as safer, plant-based products that are better for the immune system and infant development.

Sometimes, when used as food substitutes, the products are marketed as more ethical than manufactured infant formula.

It is sold not only to individuals, but also to health care providers and hospitals.

The report indicates that sources for a breast milk manufacturing company in England indicate that it produces and sells 6 bottles of 50 milligrams for 45 pounds, which means that the breast milk business is now a serious source of profit.

It also indicates that these companies are seeking to grow their business, and are likely to increasingly look to long-term, more stable contracts with major institutions such as the formal health sector, which will cause problems for everyone.

Ethical dilemmas

The report warned that companies that court health care providers to become their suppliers may cause the health care system to increase costs and create ethical dilemmas, as the shift of mothers from donating to the National Health Services and milk banks to donating to commercial companies will prompt health care providers to resort to contracting with them to provide Milk needed in their services and for the community.

The site said that legalizing access to milk banks - which determines who can receive breast milk according to established medical standards except for adults looking for fitness supplements - directs milk to those who need it most.

This mechanism has sought to maintain a balance between demand and supply, but this is not available in the commercial sector, where profitable companies are obliged to achieve a level of growth and profits that satisfies their shareholders.

The pursuit of growth will likely lead to the privatization of the milk-providing service that was previously a public service, and there will also be a need to increase milk to meet the increasing demands and collective contracts.

There are also concerns about the exploitation of mothers, as many of these companies say on their websites that the women who provide milk do so as “donors,” meaning that they are not paid or employed by those companies that profit from their milk. who donate it.

However, few governments around the world are reviewing frameworks for addressing what some commentators describe as a "corporate takeover" of breast milk.

Breast milk products are marketed as safer and better plant-based products for the immune system and infant development (Getty Images)

It is noteworthy that most of the dealings that have taken place so far with the subject focus on public health and the risks related to food safety that may result from selling breast milk directly from women to the consumer.

The fact that many countries legalize the sale of breast milk - as food - has contributed to the failure of these countries to discover the core issues of the new global market.

The report concluded by urging the authorities responsible for regulating the sale of breast milk not to view it as mere food, as the global market calls for looking instead at the women who produce the milk and their children, who may ultimately be the biggest losers when those commercial companies prioritize profit over profit. human account.

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