Something is Starting To Smell Familiar….Who is Medolac?


There is a foul smelling odor emitting in the air. Medolac has started an initiative to increase breastfeeding rates in the African American community of Detroit. Medolac will be offering one dollar per ounce of breast milk to African American women, in turn she will be selling milk to hospitals for seven dollars an ounce. Yes, you read that right. Elena Medo, the CEO of Medolac, will be selling milk to various hospitals and unidentified institutions for a six hundred percent mark-up!

It is a statistical fact that African American women have the lowest breastfeeding rates in the United States. Elena Medo’s stance is that the opportunity of making money from their breast milk will increase breastfeeding rates. Is there any independent studies that back the assertions of Medolac that the for profit enterprise of paying moms for their breast milk will increase breastfeeding duration?

Is Elena Medo implying that money is the only thing motivating African American women to care for their children properly? There are many breastfeeding advocates in Detroit who are proving our Mothers need re-connection and support to breastfeed, not payment.

We see comparisons between what  Medolac is trying to do and the conditions faced by African American women during the time of slavery.

How does offering to purchase breast milk from African American mothers compare to slavery? Slavery is a legal or economic system under which people are treated as property. Knowing that, the essence of slavery is using people as property, exploiting a group because of their race, economic status or religion for financial gain. Does that ring a bell for you? Medolac is proposing to collect African American women’s milk from low income areas of Detroit, and sell it to hospitals for seven dollars. That’s a six hundred percent profit made off the backs (or breast in this case) of African American mothers! In the past, coercion, terroristic threats, beatings and lynchings, that resulted in death, were used to ensure that a slave did what they were told. Medolac is asserting that; to ensure that we as African American mothers are able to stay home with our children longer and to ensure our preterm children have a fighting chance, all we need to do is sell them our milk. Is the stench starting to smell familiar to you now?

Why should we be concerned about Medolac coming to Detroit, they sound like they are trying to help? Medolac is an unknown entity. Therefore, before we start selling off our precious resources to this company we have to check them out with a fine toothed comb.

Can you find any hospitals that have agreed to buy this milk from Medolac? According to online sources, this company may have a stockpile of up to 1 million ounces of breast milk that has neither been shared nor sold. Is there any price or reason great enough for women with 2-3 times higher rate of preterm birth and infant mortality to be separated from their milk?

Sign the Open Letter to Medolac Laboratories from Detroit Mothers here:

Questions That Need to Be Answered

How much of the profit made from the breast of Detroit going to stay in the city to help it grow?

What is Medolac doing with the stockpiled human milk?

What are their plans for the milk collected if it’s not purchased by any hospitals?

They are collecting milk for what reason? (Sounds like a repeat of the Tuskegee experiment to me, racism and research.)

The Tuskegee Experiment was a notorious medical experiment carried out in the United States between 1932 and 1972.

How do we know that Elena Medo is not planning to pick up where Francis Galton left off with the Eugenics movement?

Is there a hidden agenda to continue down the path that Margaret Sanger was on when the attempt was made to determine how to control the reproductive system of African American women?

How can we guarantee the milk collect won’t ever be used for research? (you do understand that once your milk is sold you have no control over what happens to it afterwards, right?) Do we really want a repeat of the Henrietta Lacks situation?

(Cells taken from Henrietta Lack’s body without her knowledge were used to form the HeLa cell line)

Do mothers pay income tax on the money paid for their breast milk? How does this affect Mothers take-home income?

How are they going to ensure that mothers who are donating will not deprive their own children in an effort to earn money?

How are they going to ensure the state will not start cutting assistance from money earned from donations?

Even though we believe every mother wants to do the very best for their child, how do you stop the extreme measures people who are struggling to make ends meet will take just to receive a measly one dollar an ounce? (We can imagine everything from abusive men forcing their women to sell milk against their will, young girls having babies because they see this as an easy way to make money, the state cutting any sort of assistance because they will see every birth as a way to make money, women being kidnapped, impregnated and turned into quick money, the infant mortality rate growing because Mothers are completely depriving their children of a drop of breast milk to make money to buy diapers, pay their water bill or even pay their rent.)

Detroit has the highest infant mortality rate in the USA. Can we really afford to sell away one of our sure fire cures for this problem?

You can help us end the need for anyone to come into a city they know nothing about to “save” them by:

  1. Informing the community about why the selling of breast milk  to Medolac is a danger to our existence.
  2. Support all Mothers with their breastfeeding efforts, encourage them to continue feeding their children with species specific human milk and take any extra milk they may have and donate it to someone who is truly struggling within their community or to a milk bank with a compassionate care program that is community based.
  3. Most important, we have written an open letter to the Medolac company and we need everyone in our communities to sign this letter. It’s time for Elena Medo to know she cannot play Savior here without communicating with the people in this community.

Sign the Open Letter to Medolac Laboratories from Detroit Mothers here: