Article  |  Volume 10

Marketing Mothers' Milk: The Commodification of Breastfeeding and the New Markets for Breast Milk and Infant Formula

by Linda C Fentiman
Today, breastfeeding, human breast milk, and its substitute, infant formula, are commodities. "Mothers' milk" is marketed both literally and figuratively, as a good for sale, a normative behavior, and a cure for much of what ails twenty-first century America. Like previous exploitations of women's bodies, including their eggs and uteruses, the idea that human milk is a valuable good that can be given away, traded in a market, or subjected to scientific experimentation raises fundamental moral and legal questions. This Article examines the marketing of breastfeeding, the emerging markets in human milk, and the growing market in infant formula through the lenses of bioethics, market analysis, and the commodification critique. This Article also examines the unique role of the medical profession in shaping the markets in human milk and infant formula.
10 Nev. L.J. 29 (2010)