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Buying Breast Milk: Online Concerns

CORALVILLE, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28)--For those who buy breast milk online chances are it may be contaminated.

Researchers studied 100 samples of breast milk bought online and found that three out of four samples had high levels of bacteria.

Mother of two, Ranelle Lueth has donated over a thousand ounces of breast milk to the mother's milk bank of Iowa, in just the past six weeks.

"I knew that there were other children out there who needed my milk and why not donate it instead of dumping it down the drain, she said.

Ranelle says she prefers donating this way because of the extensive screening involved.

"They interviewed me over the phone as well as with a very lengthy interview, she said.

"We also contact the donor's health care provider, her baby's healthcare provider and then we do a blood test, said co-founder and director of Mothers Milk Bank of Iowa.

Cautionary measures that the new study says are absent when breast milk is bought online.

In fact researchers found some contained fecal contamination and some sellers did not include dry ice when they shipped the product.

Folks at the Mother's Milk Bank of Iowa say when it comes to safety all bases are covered.

"We pasteurize the milk using the holder method is to eradicate viruses and bacteria then we check to see if that really has happened, Drulis said.

Drulis says in the end they only dispense milk that is tested even after the long process of pasteurization.

That is why donors like Ranelle encourage mothers to buy locally instead of online.

"You just never know what's it's been through, she said.

The food and drug administration does not regulate the buying or sharing of breast milk but they discourage online and sharing from person to person.

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