Breastfeeding, for what itís worth
A recent Australia study estimates the current economic value of breastmilk in that country at $2.2 billion a year. The study, which was conducted by New South Wales (NSW) Health, concluded that as food producers, breastfeeding mothers should be put in the same tax-exempt category as farmers.
Julie Smith, an economist at Australian National University, calculated the $2.2 billion based on the current value of breastmilk that is sold to European milk banks and multiplied that amount by the 34 million litres of breastmilk produced by Australian mothers.
"Looking at the economics helps support the argument of why we need to encourage and support [breastfeeding]," said Liz Develin, the manager of nutrition and physical activity at NSW Health. The study will help form the basis of a new breastfeeding policy.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald, March 2005