Abstract

[This article was originally published in Healthcare Policy, 13(3)]

The use of peer-to-peer online networks to access both pasteurized and unpasteurized human donor milk is increasing in Canada. In the absence of a mother's own milk, donor milk is the next best nutrition available for all infants in need of supplementation. Limited supply and the cost of pasteurized milk puts it out of reach for many. Although milk banks in Canada all operate on a non-profit basis, there is a lack of regulatory safeguards regarding for-profit operations and private milk exchange. This paper describes regulation of human donor milk and identifies gaps putting families at risk.