Breast milk sold online infected with bugs: Report

Breast milk sold online by mothers in the UK contained potentially deadly bacteria, an investigation reavealed.

A BBC Inside Out reporter posing as a six-month-old baby's father bought milk from mothers across the country. Experts at Coventry University then analysed the 12 purchases.

Microbiologists found that around 33 per cent of the sample contained E.coli, two contained Candida (thrush) and one contained the deadly bacteria pseudomonas aeruginosam, which caused the deaths of four babies in a neonatal unit in Northern Ireland in 2012.

Dr Sarah Steele from Queen Mary University of London told Inside Out that parents had "heard the message breast is best, which is absolutely the case but this is stuff bought off the internet".

She added, "You don't know the seller, you don't know how they've been storing it, you don't know what it contains and, more pertinently, they're often doing this for profit and that poses the risk that they may tamper with it, water it down, be it with water, formula, cows milk or soya milk."

She said the issue was a "real problem for infant health", adding, "We don't want to see a situation where a baby dies as a consequence."