New Zealand: Mums offer breast milk after formula scare

By News from Elsewhere... found by BBC Monitoring

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image captionThe formula scare has led to increased security in some supermarkets

Mothers in New Zealand are offering to share their breast milk after a baby formula scare.

It comes after letters were sent to a national farming body and the dairy giant Fonterra threatening to contaminate formula with a pesticide. About 30 women in the Northland region, on New Zealand's North Island, say they'd be happy to contribute, and some women have already started expressing their milk for babies who are ordinarily fed formula, the Northern Advocate newspaper reports. "It was a bit scary thinking that if something were to happen to the formula then the babies might not be okay," says Kelsie Brophy-Watts, an admin of a local mothers' Facebook group where the idea first appeared.

Another mother tells the paper that sharing might not be "everyone's cup of tea", but she sees no problem with it. "It's made for human consumption," says Jess O'Garra. "Personally I'd choose that over something that could be contaminated." A Ministry of Health adviser says women should speak to a healthcare professional before sharing their breast milk. Milk banks are commonly used by hospital neonatal units to source milk for premature or unwell babies, but it is pasteurised and tested before being used.

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