Breast milk should not be sold or bought over the Internet, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said on Monday, following the posting online of a video in which a person used breast milk for pearl milk tea and then complained about the taste.
Selling breast milk online is punishable by a fine of between NT$30,000 and NT$300,000, the agency said.
The agency on Monday issued guidelines for local health authorities covering such sales, FDA technician Chou Pei-ju (周珮如) said.
If bought over the Internet, breast milk is unlikely to have been tested for HIV or other transmissible diseases or drug residues, the provider’s medical history is unknown and the collection method is unclear, meaning a high risk of the milk being contaminated with bacteria or viruses, Chou said.
Investigations into any alleged online sale of breast milk could be conducted under the Consumer Protection Act (消費者保護法), Chou said.
There have been no cases of people being fined for Internet sales of breast milk, she said.
The Health Promotion Administration said that it has provided subsidies to Taipei City Hospital’s Fuzhou Street branch — which specializes in gynecology and pediatrics — the Ministry of Health and Welfare Hospital’s Taichung branch and National Cheng Kung University’s affiliated hospital to establish breast milk banks.
These banks accept donations of breast milk from people nationwide, it said, adding that the milk is provided to mothers who have a doctor’s prescription so that they can feed their children.
Women unable to breastfeed due to medical conditions or other reasons should consult a doctor and should not resort to purchasing breast milk from untrustworthy sources, it added.
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