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Political Science Professor Says Breast Milk Too Contaminated for Consumption

Photo by Uqbar is backIs breast milk too toxic to drink?

Is breast milk too toxic to drink?

We all know that toxins are found in breast milk; however, the general thought is the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh the risk of contamination.  A political science professor at the University of Guelph disagrees.  Speaking at the Pharmaceuticals in the Environment conference, Professor Judith McKenzie presented that “many doctors now are rethinking whether to recommend breastfeeding, because of the dangers of dioxins being passed from mother to infant through breast milk,” according to the GuelphMercury.com.

Has breast milk really gotten so toxic that formula is better for babies?  Social science professor Dr. Lynn Frewer of Wageningen University disagrees with McKenzie.  GuelphMercury.com explains the debate that was sparked at the conference:

“The message is not that women should not breastfeed, because that is very important,” Frewer said, suggesting the real challenge is removing dioxins from the environment so they do not get into mothers’ bodies in the first place.

After her presentation, McKenzie said society is hesitant to address the issue of contaminated breast milk related to environmental pollutants “because it’s still seen as a women’s issue. Maybe we should be reframing it as a child health issue rather than a women’s issue.”

I agree with Dr. Frewer that rather than scare women away from breastfeeding, we need to look closely at removing toxins from our environment.  I have never heard of a case where a child was actually harmed by the chemicals found in human milk, but research has proven that infant formula contaminated with perchlorate harms brain development.


  1. I’m AMAZED that the formula companies are able to go to UN-polluted worlds to harvest milk (from alien cows? alien humanoids?) to put into their dioxin-free infant formula. Go science!

    Oh wait, POLITICAL science isn’t actual science. Nevermind.

    Seriously, if it’s in us, it’s in the cows. And having seen what feed lots look like (watch Food Inc.) I’ll take my chances with my own diet and toxin exposure, rather than risk getting my infant’s only food source from some anonymous cow (actually, thousands of cows) on a filthy feedlot who has been pumped full of antibiotics and God knows what else to prevent disease.

    I’d love to know who is funding this woman’s “research.”

  2. I’m with Amy. I’ll trust the toxins in my body over the ones that might be in formula any day.

    It’s kind of sad to think that people feel that presenting toxins as a child health issue rather than as a women’s health issue might work better. I always hate it when people value one over the other. If it’s in the mother’s body it’s bad for both of them, right?

  3. Suellen Williams says:

    I would be very interested to know who is testing cow’s milk to “know” that it is less contaminated than human milk. Also, there are the issues of cows being given antibiotics, growth hormones, and who knows what else…

  4. If it’s in the environment, no doubt it will be in our bodies, or in the cows. I can’t imagine many doctors are rethinking whether to recommend breastfeeding!

    This is absurd! I believed our bodies have toxin filtering abilities, and at the same time, provide important nutrients that you can only get from breast milk.

  5. I think the point of the article is to eliminate as many toxins from our lives as possible. Toxins are everywhere. Our laundry detergent, fabric softeners, dryer sheets, hair shampoos and conditioners, make up, moisturizers, deodorant, shaving cream, nail polish, nail polish remover etc (the list goes on and on) all contain known carcinogens and toxic chemicals. Go to health food stores and buy non toxic replacements for everything. Don’t drink out of plastic etc. I found a good site that sells some totally non toxic products at the lowest prices anywhere. http://www.greenvirginproducts.com

  6. Thanks for that link greenguy, you are right eliminating toxins from your daily life is the best solution to removing them from your body. Thanks for sharing!


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