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Much breast milk bought online is contaminated, analysis shows

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Desperate for breast milk, some new mothers who can't nurse their babies are turning to online sources, typically strangers with ample supplies. But a new study finds that human milk bought and sold on the Internet may be contaminated — and dangerous.

Nearly 75 percent of breast milk bought through the site OnlyTheBreast.com was tainted with high levels of disease-causing bacteria, including germs found in human waste.

That’s according to Sarah A. Keim, a researcher at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, where her team purchased more than 100 samples of human milk last year, compared them to unpasteurized samples donated to a milk bank and then tested them for safety. She's the lead author of a study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

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