Swindon placenta smoothie maker 'will not fight ban'

Kathryn Beale
Image caption Ms Beale said it was natural for mothers to consume their own placenta after birth

A woman who was banned from using raw placenta to make smoothies for new mothers, has said she cannot afford the legal battle to fight her case.

Swindon Borough Council was granted a court order, which prevents Kathryn Beale from continuing her business until she can prove it is safe.

Ms Beale, 41, said she believed there was no risk to health but had no option but to obey the order.

The council said it was legally obliged to investigate possible health risks.

Ms Beale, who runs Optimum Doula in Swindon, said it was natural for mothers to consume their own placenta straight after birth.

'Full of nutrients'

"Pretty much every other mammal on the planet [does it]," she said.

"It's full of iron and other nutrients that are very good for new mums who have just been through a very energy-expending experience."

Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption Some believe the nutrients still inside the organ should not be wasted

Magistrates granted an emergency hygiene prohibition order to the council on Friday, after concerns were raised over safety because the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria can be present on human placenta.

But, Ms Beale said there was no risk to health from the drinks, which are made from an 8cm (3in) long piece of fresh placenta blended with fruit.

"There is a big difference between there being bacteria present in food and it actually being a risk," she said.

"I personally have seen scientific evidence that makes me believe the risk is not there."

'Obliged to investigate'

The council said the prohibition order was granted "to prevent Optimum Doula from providing placenta processing services for the purpose of human consumption of raw and cooked placenta on grounds that such practices present an imminent risk to public health".

"The council is legally obliged to investigate any food businesses where food processing services being provided to the public present a potential risk to health," a spokeswoman said.

Ms Beale said she could not afford to challenge the ruling.

"I can't fight them in court because it would cost me thousands and thousands of pounds if I were to lose," she said.

"I have stopped [producing the placenta smoothies]."

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