Mar 6, 2011

Ice-cream made with human breast milk. Isn't this repulsive?

Ice-cream being made from human breast milk. To me this is so disgusting, and of course deplorable.

Still worse, the first batch of the ice-cream made from human breast milk, branded 'Baby Gaga', was sold within days of the launch last week in London. According to AFP 'it is now off the menu after Westminster City Council, the local authority, seized the ice cream for health and safety checks. "We are taking the ice cream away for samples," a spokeswoman told AFP, adding that they expected the results on Monday'.

Meanwhile, the popular American pop singer Lady Gaga has threatened to file a lawsuit against the company if it does not withdraw the name.

AFP says 'the ice cream has proved a big hit, with the first batch sold out within days of going on sale. It is made with milk expressed by 15 women who replied to an advertisement posted on an online mothers' forum. Each serving costs £14 and is brought out by waitresses wearing flamboyant costumes, something Lady Gaga is well-known for'.

Although, BBC quotes the owner of the company, Matt O'Connor, who claimed his product is "organic, free-range and totally natural," I don't see any justification in commercially marketing ice-creams made from human breast milk. The idea is simply repulsive, and must be condemned in strongest possible words.

Some years back, BBC had carried a news report of a Chinese restaurant in southern Hunan province using human breast milk in the preparation of some dishes. I was amused to read the restaurant owner saying "when the customers are having the human milk banquet, they can experience maternal love at the same time." That was way back in 2003. But since I didn't hear of it again, I thought it was an idea that flopped.

It is true we live in times when commodification is the new mantra. Commodification has gone to such an extent that natural resources are being increasingly plundered and traded globally. This is probably the easiest way to economic growth. But over period, human beings too are being turned into a commodity. Still I thought the world is wise enough to ensure that certain aspects of human life would remain sacrosanct and the markets would know where to draw a line. But I was wrong.

In our quest to make more money, sab kuch chalta hai.

I shudder to think of the day when breast milk collection would turn into an industry. Although there is no shortage of milk in the world, I am amazed at the way women are themselves offering to turn breast milk into a marketable commodity. In China, we already have reports of how breast milk marketing is becoming an economic activity. See this report: Got Milk? Chinese Crisis Creates A Market for Human Alternatives in the Wall Street Journal

Even if there is shortage of available milk in certain regions, as some reports would suggest, I don't think there is any need for the human alternative. I can't still fathom the thought of the dying dairy farms in Europe, for instance, being turned into human breast milk collection centres.

Women waiting for their turn to be milked. Oh God ! Is this what constitutes progress?
Maybe I am too old fashioned.


witan said...

"...must be condoned in strongest possible words."

Harpreet said...

Very good article Sir. very informative But i couldn't stop myself bursting in to a laugh when i think of a milk collection centre as u have mentioned..Great.. I think human civilization is really growing to the the early man era..thank god men are safe anyway..

Anonymous said...

Indeed the only entitlement and use of human milk is for the baby that depends on its nourishment on the mother during its most vulnerable and early years of life.

Glad to see your revulsion at the perversity of the very idea of commercialization of human milk.

Hope you will reconsider your enthusiasm for the commercialization and globalized commodification of camel's milk (and any other animal's milk for that matter) on the same grounds.