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Marco Rubio, Maria Elvira Salazar Champion the Access to Donor Milk Act

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U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar, R-Fla., are championing the “Access to Donor Milk Act.”

The proposal will “facilitate access to donor milk resources for WIC-enrolled families and increase federal support for donor milk banks.” The bill would “allow existing WIC funds allocated toward breastfeeding support and promotion to be used to support donor milk” and “allow state agencies to use WIC funds to 1) collect and store donations of donor milk, 2) transfer donor milk to a nonprofit milk bank, and 3) provide donor milk to participants at little or no cost” while offering $3 million in funds for the FDA to offer competitive grants for milk banks.

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., introduced the bill in the U.S. Senate with Rubio as the only co-sponsor.

“Medical research has established that breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for most infants. Due to medical irregularities, some mothers do not have the abilities or resources to seek human milk donations,” Rubio’s office noted.

“For infants born premature or with serious medical conditions, access to donor milk is one of the best resources available. I’m proud to work with Senator Rubio and Congresswoman Houlahan to introduce our bipartisan Access to Donor Milk Act so we can support donor milk banks nationwide and help ensure families have what they need to raise strong, healthy babies,” said Duckworth.

“A mother has the unique and beautiful gift of bearing a child and we must ensure that we are doing our best to support the nutrition of the next generations of Americans. With this bicameral and bipartisan bill, we would help facilitate access to nurturing resources for WIC-enrolled families,” said Rubio.

The bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.

U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, D-Penn., introduced the bill in the U.S. House with Salazar as one of four co-sponsors. Other backers include U.S. Reps. Stephanie Bice, R-Okla., Debbie Lasko, R-Ariz., and Nancy Mace, R-SC.

“Many of the best ideas in Congress come from everyday Americans in our communities – this bill was no exception. In May of 2022, I visited the maternity ward at Paoli Hospital where I spoke with a lactation consultant who shared with me her concerns about a reliable supply of safe donor breast milk, especially for vulnerable infants. When we took a hard look, what we found was a gray space of federal regulation regarding donor breast milk. This legislation reflects the strength of democracy because we can make lasting change when we speak up. I’m proud to work with my Republican colleagues Reps. Bice and Salazar in the House, and we could not ask for a better partner in the Senate than Senator Duckworth and now Senator Rubio. Together, we will protect our most vulnerable infants and give parents safe, reliable choices in infant nutrition,” said Houlahan.

“Feeding and nourishing our infants should be as easy as possible whether parents use breast milk, formula, or donor milk. As a mother of two beautiful daughters, I am proud to co-lead legislation that will, especially in times of crisis, help suppliers meet demand for safe and healthy donor milk,” said Salazar.

The bill was sent to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce and the Education and the Workforce Committees.

Author

  • Kevin Derby

    Originally from Jacksonville, Kevin Derby is a contributing writer for Florida Daily and covers politics across Florida.

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