Amid a baby formula shortage in the United States, a Utah mom has stepped in to help by selling over 118 litres of her breast milk to those in need.
In an interview with Fox13, Alyssa Chitti revealed that she has more than three freezers full of breastmilk. She jokingly said, “I figure I'm running out of room, so might as well help someone else. I know I have over 3,000 ounces. 3,000 ounces downstairs and almost 1,000 upstairs."
As per the media outlet, at first, Ms Chitti tried to donate to a milk bank, however, due to a long process, she priced her breast milk at $1 an ounce. But the Utah-based woman also added that she will be willing to negotiate with other parents as she understands what they are going through amid the baby formula shortage in the country.
Also Read | Biden's New Headache: Baby Formula
Speaking to Fox13, Ms Chitti highlighted that some babies have specific baby formula requirements due to upset stomachs. She said that even her own daughter is a bit “colicky” and knows how tough it can be to handle such situations.
"I know a lot of moms need specific formulas for babies with upset tummies, and I know how hard it can be when they're upset. There's nothing you can do about that stomach pain,” Ms Chitti said.
Fox13 reported that days after the interview was aired, Ms Chitti began receiving negative feedback about her decision, which led her to stop selling breast milk. But it is imperative to note that buying and selling breast milk online in the US is perfectly legal, however, it is unregulated.
Citing Food and Drug Administration (FDA) order, the media outlet said that when human milk is obtained directly from individuals or through the internet, the donor is unlikely to have been screened for infectious diseases or contamination risks. Donating the milk to a bank, on the other hand, involves weeks of screening.
Meanwhile, according to The Guardian, a major baby formula shortage is causing frustration and fear among parents in the US. The crunch intensified when, in February, a major formula production plant halted production and recalled several brands of powdered formula, squeezing supplies that had already been tightened by supply chain disruptions and stockpiling during COVID-19.
This has sparked a crisis with shelves going empty in the supermarket. It has also led retailers to limit how many containers customers can buy during each visit. Moreover, Joe Biden's administration faced intense pressure to do more to ease the shortage, following which the White House announced steps it is taking to alleviate the crisis.