FSSAI Denies Permission For Commercializing Human Milk
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The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) issued a notice addressing all states to refrain from granting licenses to sell or process human milk. Announced on Friday, the advisory highlighted that many registered societies had tried to convince the regulatory body to process the commercialisation of human milk – a request which was flatly denied. Issuing a warning that expressed an intolerance against violation and promising strict punishment under the Food Safety and Standards Act of 2006, the FSSAI also warned that any activities related to such commercialisation of human milk and adjacent products be stopped immediately.

As per the guidelines of the food safety body on Lactation Management Centres (LMCs), donor human milk can only be utilised to feed newborn babies or infants in health facilities. The free and voluntary donation of breast milk is typically without monetary gains and to be used free of charge, as per the government regulations. Sale is strictly prohibited by the FSSAI, since the past few years have witnessed companies trying to process and sell human milk. Rules were also flouted by these companies which obtained FSSAI licenses under the lieu of selling dairy products that was later discovered to be powdered human milk from women of destitute backgrounds.

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With support from the Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India (BPNI) who have been advocating against companies that could potentially exploit women for profits, licenses were cancelled for some of the companies that manufactured human milk. The response issued by the body arrived in light of multiple registered societies placing requests to process mother’s milk/human milk.