The Medela patent EP1637043 at the European Patent Office on a human milk fortifier was withdrawn in 2007 because the examination fee was not paid on time. The navigation of the European patent office website is very complex and I just found that particular information this morning. Of course that still leaves the patent application at the US Patent Office (and the possibility that a patent or application exists at the Australian Patent Office). To view patents at the European Patent Office:
To view patents or applications (Medela application on human milk fortifer #2008187619)at the US Patent Office website:
One of the claims on the European patent state that a component in the human milk fortifier might be bovine. Hence my belief that in order to produce such fortifier it would have to be licensed out to the infant formula industry.
Human milk fortified or designed by companies is what?? Human milk?? When it competes with breastfeeding (as has happened with preterm infants), should the companies be absolved of the WHO Code because some or one of the components are human milk? Do breastfeeding advocates believe that because it contains some human milk, it is getting us closer to a breastfeeding society? Or, are designer human milks actually 10 steps away from breastfeeding? Do these questions seem like they are not relevant to the present situation? The future is far closer to us, than we like to believe. If time and energy is not devoted to this shifting perspective of infant feeding, then we will certainly see breastfeeding become a thing of the past. Designer human milk engineered especially for your baby! Impossible you say......who would think cloned milk and meat would be on our dinnertable in 2008? But there you are, our reality is melting like the polar ice caps into a sci-fi comic strip.
Copyright 2008 Valerie W. McClain