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A US firm has announced that it wants to buy breast milk and then flog it to hospitals for the treatment of sick babies. LA-based Prolacta Bioscience has set its sights on stocks at independent milk banks which it will pasteurise and supply for the treatment of underweight rugrats, the BBC reports.

Naturally, Prolacta's primary concern is the welfare of said mewling infants. It also intends to "carry out research to develop breast milk-based therapies". As Prolacta supremo Elena Medo notes: "Human breast milk is really an incredible therapy. Let's try to develop processes where we can preserve every bit of its nutrients and the potent antiviral and all of its diseases fighting properties."

But despite these noble sentiments, some have reservations. The Human Milk Banking Association of North America (great name - tell it like it is) has questioned the possible trade in human milk, saying that "introducing the profit motive might pressure women and medical institutions to provide milk to a bank regardless of the needs of their own babies".

On this side of the Pond, Rosie Dodds of the National Childbirth Trust chipped in: "There is a need for more mothers to come forward to give their milk, the whole issue needs to be valued more. I can see both sides of the argument. However, I don't think it would work in the UK as it would prove too expensive for hospitals."

Too expensive? Ms Dodds seems to think that human breast milk grows on trees. Listen - there's a cost implication here: production; transportation; marketing. Then, of course, there's the breast-milk-therapy R&D budget, execs' salaries and let's not forget the shareholders who - in common with premature babies - want to get fat on goodness-packed mam juice.

Still, capitalism is capitalism, so here are a few other money-spinners for Prolacta:

  • Mouth dry? Don't fret - our 100 per cent organic bottled saliva instantly solves that "morning after" feeling.
  • Lack of vaginal lubrication? Try our "Swedish Nymphette" range of natural remedies.
  • Need extra elbow grease? Tinned Bolivian hard graft exclusively imported from the tin mines of the Andes.
  • Short of cash? Ask yourself how much bone marrow your kids really need then call 0666-GREE-D.

Related stories

'Rocket fuel' found in US breast milk
Boffins grow breasts on mice
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