U.S. Delegates Opposed an International Resolution That Supported Breastfeeding

Bloomberg via Getty Images

Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Times reported that the USA effort this spring during the United Nations -affiliated world health meeting was largely unsuccessful and that most of the original wording remained. Ecuador backed down, and at least a dozen countries avoided the resolution out of fear of retaliation by the United States.

"The failing NY Times Fake News story today about breast feeding must be called out", Trump tweeted.

Mr. Trump said the country "strongly supports" breastfeeding, but the issue the USA representatives had was with denying access to formula. In the end, the Times said, the Russians stepped in to introduce the measure - and the final resolution preserved most of the original wording.

The United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly in Geneva this spring became the scene of a surprising showdown, as the USA battled with other nations over a resolution supporting the use of breast milk, the New York Times reported Sunday. When Ecuador refused to water down the resolution as the United States requested, according to the Times, the Trump administration threatened punishing trade measures and withdrawing military aid.

Caitlin Oakley, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services, said it's "patently false" to portray the US position as "anti-breastfeeding".

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"The issues being debated were not about whether one supports breastfeeding", Caitlin Oakley, national spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services, said in a statement.

'These women should have the choice and access to alternatives for the health of their babies, and not be stigmatized for the ways in which they are able to do so'.

The State Department would not answer the Times' questions.

With more mothers in developed nations turning to breastfeeding, the Third World is regarded as a potential growth market for infant formula companies.

The Trump administration's slavish devotion to corporate profits and their contempt for the health and well-being of Americans and people throughout the world is beyond appalling.

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American officials told Ecuador - which was planning to adopt the measure - that if it didn't drop it, Washington would rope it into the trade war and cut back on military aid. Of course, it is in line with the general attitude of the USA, which has earlier opposed taxes on sugared drinks and attacked changes in licensing law proposed to deliver life-saving medicines in poor countries.

Hundreds of government delegates at the assembly expected the resolution to be approved swiftly. Taking a break from being an all-purpose bogeyman, Russia, we're told, saved the day and the United States was thwarted.

"We need a government willing to counter misinformation from the baby food and formula industry, not one that caters to it".

A 2016 study published by The Lancet says breastfeeding could save the lives of 823,000 children and 20,000 mothers each year.

Limiting inaccurate infant formula marketing is most necessary in some of the poorest parts of the world, according to a Guardian investigation published earlier this year in partnership with the global nongovernmental organization Save the Children.

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