In late 2017, we were asked by the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment to consider the risks associated with the importation of human milk and human milk products into Australia. This advice has been provided to the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment who manage food safety risks at the border.
What we looked at
We assessed 30 potential hazards in imported human milk and human milk products. When determining the level of risk, we assumed the most vulnerable category of infants (preterm infants in hospital neonatal intensive care units) would be receiving the products.
What are human milk products?
Human milk is expressed milk from lactating women that is fed to infants that are not the biological infant. Human milk products are derived from human milk that has been specially formulated to meet the specific nutritional needs of infants, such as fortifiers and formula.
The outcome of our assessments are outlined in the table below:
Imported food risk advice for human milk and human milk products table, October 2019
* Hale TW (2019) Hale's medications & mothers' milk, 2019: A manual of lactational pharmacology, Eighteenth edition. Springer Publishing Company, New York, NY. Lactation risk categories for medicines range from compatible with breastfeeding (L1) to hazardous and contraindicated for breastfeeding mothers (L5).