Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Monday, January 17, 2005

Virtual Markets for Wet Nurses

In previous centuries, if mothers were unable to or didn't want to nurse their children, they could hire wet nurses to do it for them. Nowadays there are markets for breast milk itself, including milk banks and the internet.
The practice of women sharing breast milk is nothing really new. It's been going on for centuries -- dating back to the era of wet nurses. What is new is a phenomenon in which women, often perfect strangers, exchange breast milk through the Internet, in mommy chatrooms, and even through mainstream sites like Craig's List and eBay.
Established organizations question the safety of the milk distributed through the newly-developing internet markets (surprise, surprise).
Some mothers believe they can do their own screening process since it's more expensive to buy through a milk bank, but others say private screening is still not enough.
It will undoubtedly take some time for liability rules to be established, but technology will clearly help with efficient exchanges.
[Thanks to JC for the pointer; I have no idea how or why he found that site]

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