China: Wealthy 'drink human breast milk'

A woman uses a breast pump at Guangzhou Women and Children's medical centre
Image caption It's a month since a donor breast milk bank opened for sick babies in Guangdong

Wealthy adults in China have developed a taste for human breast milk, it seems.

Some are even hiring wet nurses for daily supplies, according to the manager of a supply company quoted in the Southern Metropolis Daily. It's said to be popular among those with high incomes in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, whose high-pressure jobs leave them in poor health. According to the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post, live-in wet nurses can earn the equivalent of £1,700 per month either by breastfeeding adults directly or using a pump.

The reports angered commentators in a country where series of scandals over tainted powdered milk have fuelled demand for imported formula, forcing up prices. Red Net commentator Kou Yulong says the rich should take medicine and not grab milk meant for babies. Cai Hui in the Beijing Morning Post argues: "The wealthy in China are busy picking beautiful women and drinking human milk... Such a development will take us into the abyss." It's a month since China's first breast milk bank opened in Guangdong, aimed at helping sick children. It reportedly struggles to find donors.