In 2010 colleagues from the Yorkhill milk bank in Glasgow, Scotland and the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service started working together to devise a more secure means of identifying human milk donations. They proposed using ISBT 128 and contacted ICCBBA to discuss how this could be supported.

Following discussions with its technical advisory groups ICCBBA agreed that the ISBT 128 Standard can be extended to cover milk banking, and the Scottish team moved forward with designing a milk banking IT system based around the use of ISBT 128. A pilot of this system was completed successfully, and the system is now live.

A number of other countries have expressed an interest in improving the identification of milk donations using ISBT 128.

In order to ensure a common approach to the identification and bar coding of human milk the Milk Banking Technical Advisory Group (MBTAG) was established. The group is comprised of international experts in the field with a willingness to work towards global standardization in this area.

MBTAG Joint Statement - PDF


The group is currently working to create a standardized label layout for labeling human milk products. A Standard labeling document regarding human milk products is also in the works.



  • Debbie Barnett


  • Sertac Arslanoglu - Dr Behcet Uz Children's Hospital

  • Thomas Brune - Södersjukhuset AB

  • Louis-Philippe Gagné -

  • Frances Jones - Human Milk Banking Association of North America

  • Guido Moro - Italian Association of Human Milk Banks c/o Biomedia

  • Anne Billie Olin - Hvidovre Hospital - The Children's Department and the Women's Milk Center 

  • Anne Schoonderwoerd - Amsterdam University Medical Center

  • Gillian Weaver - European Milk Bank Association


  • Geoff Browne

  • Jeff Dragoo

  • Larry Hopkins

  • John Kling

  • John Muircroft

  • Teresa Oliveira

  • Bruno Rousselin

ICCBBA Staff Liaison

  • Mónica Freire

Technical Experts

  • Donald Gironne

  • Stella Larsson