Alorah Gellerson, 17, says her three-month-old son won't breastfeed, but will drink goat’s milk.
"Oh, he loved it. We put celery juice in it, and he just loves that, and it worked really well with his body, and he grew like a weed," Gellerson recently told WAVE 3 News from her Brooklin, Maine home (video below).
Unfortunately, Gellerson's doctor recently turned her into the state's Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), who in turn threatened to take the child away.
"[A DHHS employee] came in and threatened to take him away and put him in foster care until I complied to go to the doctor and get him seen," said Gellerson.
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Gellerson is obeying the DHHS' orders. She has taken her baby in for numerous doctor visits, a hospital stay and switched over to a commercial baby formula, but the the state of Maine is still not dropping the case.
The DHHS refused to issue a statement, but referred Wave 3 News to websites such as the USDA, which says goat milk is not recommended for infants because of low quantities of some vitamins.
However, USDA recommendations are not actual law and are often changed by the USDA.
"I don't know what's really driving it other than perhaps some different cultural belief system. I've got plenty of kids in my practice that have been given goat's milk, for example, and they're growing and developing fine," said Jack Forbush, of the Osteopathic Center for Family Medicine in Hampden, Maine.
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What the DHHS didn't tell Gellerson was that store-bought commercial baby formula is often enhanced with DHA/ARA, which some critics say could be detrimental to a baby's health.
According to AlterNet.org:
In 2001, the FDA expressed concerns about the safety of adding DHA and ARA to infant-formula additives and notified Martek of the agency's plans to convene a group of scientists to study these concerns.
Martek wrote back: "... convening a group of scientific experts to answer such hypothetical concerns would not be productive." Within months, the FDA wrote to Martek that it would allow DHA and ARA in infant formula, without any scientific review of its own.
Meanwhile, Gellerson remains under the watchful eye of the DHSS.