A BIRTH and postnatal specialist is campaigning against attempts to list the placenta pills she makes as “novel” products.

Sally Cropper, 50, turns new mothers’ placentas into pills but fears her business could be in jeopardy as the Food Standards Authority (FSA) wants to re-label the products as novel foods.

Ms Cropper, of Tivoli Crescent North, Brighton, has had 430 customers since she began providing the service four years ago.

Placenta encapsulation makes up about 80% of Ms Cropper’s business, alongside working as a doula – providing one-to-one pregnancy and birth care.

She claims the benefits of ingesting placenta include helping to restore depleted iron levels, reducing post-natal bleeding and combating post-natal depression.

Ms Cropper was trained and certified to be a doula with the Independent Placenta Encapsulation Network (IPEN), is registered as a food business and has food safety and infection control certificates.

Under EU regulations a novel food is defined as one that was not consumed to a significant degree in the European Community before May 15 1997.

At risk This definition was set up by the European Commission to stop the sale of products made using GM crops. Anyone producing or promoting novel food is at risk of prosecution.

The FSA has allowed a one-month window until July 11 for Mrs Cropper and other members of IPEN to provide evidence that placentas are not novelty food.

Ms Cropper said: “This means we have three weeks to prove placentas were eaten before 1997.

“We have dug out quite a bit of evidence from the 1980s.

“It would be a travesty if this service wasn’t allowed to continue, not just for me but for the women who are helped by it.”

A spokeswoman for the FSA said: “The FSA will ensure it listens to any arguments put forward on why the novel food regulation should not apply before a final decision is made in early July.”

An IPEN petition on change.org asking the FSA to make an exception has got more than 3,000 signatures.

For a link to the petition visit placentanetwork.com.