Breast Milk Ice Cream: Bad For You or Just Bad Taste?

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Local officials in London have confiscated ice cream made of human breast milk from an ice cream shop after they reportedly received complaints that the product could be unsafe.

If a woman is infected with a virus, such as one that causes hepatitis, the virus could transmitted through via breast milk. But as long as the ice cream shop was diligent about screening the milk donors and pasteurizing the ice cream, the chances of spreading disease are low, said Sharon M. Donovan, professor of nutrition and health at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The Icecreamists, the shop making and selling the "Baby Gaga" breast milk ice cream, has said that the dessert is safe because all milk donors were screened in the same way as blood donors and the breast milk was pasteurized, the Associated Press reported.

Human breast milk banks also pasteurize milk to make sure active viruses and bacteria aren't passed along, Donovan said.

Ice cream made of human breast milk "certainly won't hurt people, but it's not something that has any purposes" for bettering health, Donovan told MyHealthNewsDaily.

Once the milk has been cooked and turned into ice cream, all the nutritious, bioactive components in the milk are likely destroyed, she said.

The Icecreamists began selling the breast milk ice cream on Friday (Feb. 25), and ran out the same day. The company bought the milk from women who responded to an online advertisement asking for milk donations, according to the AP.

The breast milk was combined with vanilla pods and lemon zest to make the $22.50-per-serving treat, the AP reported.

Westminster City Council said it received two complaints that the store was selling edible goods made from bodily fluids, the AP said. Britain's Food Standards Agency is expected to weigh in with an official decision.

Pass it on: Officials in London halted sales of ice cream made from human breast milk. Eating the ice cream doesn't have any health benefits, but as long as the milk donors are screened for viruses and diseases, and the milk was pasteurized, the ice cream likely isn't dangerous, a nutrition expert says.

Follow MyHealthNewsDaily staff writer Amanda Chan on Twitter @AmandaLChan.

This story was provided by MyHealthNewsDaily, a sister site to LiveScience.

Amanda Chan
Amanda Chan was a staff writer for Live Science Health. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, and a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.