COT statement on a toxicological evaluation of chemical analyses carried out as part of a pilot study for a breast milk archive

The Food Standards Agency received the results of the SUREmilk pilot studies, which explored alternative methods for the recruitment, collection, storage and management of an archive of breast milk samples.

The report includes analytical data on a range of environmental contaminants (dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls, organochlorine pesticides, phthalates and heavy metals).

The Committee was invited to advise on whether these data raised toxicological concerns for the breast-fed infant, which would require urgent action or indicate a need for further research. The data were collected primarily to explore the viability of sample collection methods – they do not constitute a rigorous survey.