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U.S. mother, officials settle suit over airport breast milk

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A nursing Southern California mother stopped from taking breast milk through airport security has reached a $75,000 settlement with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, her lawyer said on Wednesday.

TSA officers stopped Stacey Armato at Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport while she was traveling to Los Angeles in 2010 with bottles of pumped breast milk for her seven-month-old son.

In a 2012 lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Phoenix, Armato contended TSA officers initially refused to follow the agency's policy of providing alternative security screenings for bottles of breast milk instead of X-raying them.

The officers told her, "'Well, it (the policy) is not going to apply today. Dump out your breast milk or send it through X-ray'," Robert Mosier, Armato's lawyer, told Reuters.

Armato was put in a glass enclosure and police were called, he said. TSA officers eventually allowed the breast milk to skip the X-ray.

As part of the settlement, the TSA will clarify its internal procedures for breast milk. It also will make online guidance for nursing mothers traveling with breast milk clearer and train personnel on those issues, Mosier said.

TSA spokesmen did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Armato, a lawyer, has been a member of the board of Breastfeed LA, an advocacy group, since January 2012, according to her LinkedIn account.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Michael Perry)

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