A new business line for Fonterra, or a serious challenge?

Fonterra could be moving fast into a new growth area for milk…or they could be quaking in their boots with this new development in China.

China’s super-rich are paying thousands of dollars a month for human breast milk, with some even choosing to be wet nursed.

The bizarre new trend has seen a rise in adults buying breast milk and drinking it either straight from the wet nurse or after it was expressed.

Newspaper reports on the service have provoked outrage in China with tens of thousands of people posting on Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter.

According to the Southern Metropolis Daily, domestic staff agencies are offering wet nurses for newborns, sick people or anyone who will pay up to 16,000 yuan (?2,600) a month.

Customers say they want the concentrated nutrition breast milk provides. ?

It has a unique combination of antibodies, living cells, enzymes, hormones and fatty acids that has led some people to treat it as the latest superfood.

‘Adult (clients) can drink it directly through breastfeeding, or they can always drink it from a breast pump if they feel embarrassed’, Lin Jun, owner of company Xinxinyu that offers the service, was quoted as saying by AFP.

Critics say the practice turns a mother’s milk into a commodity and cheapens the bond between mother and child.

Chinese commentator Cao Baoyin wrote on his blog: ‘This adds to China’s problem of treating women as consumer goods and the moral degradation of China’s rich’, according to AFP.

Nine out of ten people said they disagreed with the practice on an online poll.

One user on Weibo called it ‘disguised pornography’, while others said it was merely a form of novelty entertainment for China’s super rich.

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