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Milk Banking Technical Advisory Group


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 MBTAG is currently reviewing the published ISBT 128 Standard Labeling of Human Milk Banking Products v1.0.0 to identify the need for updates to existing requirements.


Acknowledging the worldwide pressing need for biovigilance in human milk banking, the MBTAG is discussing the necessity for a new international consensus on the terminology, coding, and labeling of human milk donations.


ISBT 128 for milk banking has been primarily adopted in Europe with ten facilities in the U.K., five in Spain, one in Croatia, and one in Norway. There are only two registered facilities in the U.S. and no registrations in South America, Africa, Oceania, and Asia. The MBTAG is actively assessing driving forces and prevailing barriers for implementing ISBT 128.



  • TBD


  • 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 

  • Gillian Opie - Mercy Health Breastmilk Bank

  • Anne Schoonderwoerd - Amsterdam University Medical Center

  • Gillian Weaver - European Milk Bank Association


  • Geoff Browne

  • Jeff Dragoo

  • Clare Green

  • John Kling

  • David Luedecke-Kobiki

  • John Muircroft

  • Renata Rocha

  • Bruno Rousselin


  • Martin FitzGerald - GS1

Technical Experts

  • Stella Larsson

ICCBBA Staff Liaison

  • Mónica Freire

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