RELIGION

Cambodia bans export of breast milk by US company

Cambodia has permanently banned the export of human breast milk by a company headed by a former Mormon missionary that pioneered the business two years ago.

A letter issued Tuesday by the Cabinet to the Health Ministry said Prime Minister Hun Sen has ordered a halt to U.S.-based Ambrosia Labs Ltd. buying and exporting the milk. The product is marketed as food for babies and a nutritional supplement and sells for as much as $4 an ounce.

The letter gave no reason for the ban, but said that Cambodia was not so afflicted by poverty that its mothers needed to sell their milk.

The milk's export was recently suspended while the Health Ministry investigated its effects on babies and whether the business violated a law on trafficking in human organs.