US Meddles in Breastfeeding Resolution, Threatens Ecuador With Sanctions if it Sponsors

Ric Francis via ZUMA

A New York Times report Monday said the US delegation at the assembly in Geneva this spring embraced "the interest of infant formula manufacturers" and "upended the deliberations".

Mr. Trump said the country "strongly supports" breastfeeding, but the issue the USA representatives had was with denying access to formula. However, according to the Times, the USA did successfully strike some language that would have provided technical support for nations seeking to stop "inappropriate promotion of foods for infants and young children".

According to a now-viral report from The New York Times, American delegates took issue with a number of clauses in the breastfeeding recommendations, and threatened to impose trade measures and withdraw military aid if Ecuador refused to eliminate certain passages from the resolution.

However, the US stopped short of going after Russian Federation, which in the end stepped in to introduce the resolution. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusively breastfeeding babies until they are six months old, and continuing partial breastfeeding for the first year.

"The Trump Administration believes it's a public health priority that women and their families have all the information to decide how to appropriately deliver nutrition to their children, whether it is via breastfeeding or other methods", an HHS spokesman said.

The resolution was primarily meant to prevent dishonest or inaccurate marketing of baby formula, subsequently promoting breastfeeding as the healthiest choice for babies, Britain's Baby Milk Action Policy Director Patti Rundall said in an interview with NPR. Utah reported the highest breastfeeding rate - 94 percent - while just over half of MS mothers said they had tried to breastfeed their children.

According to Trump himself, the account was just more "fake news" from the "failing" New York Times.

Humans are mammals. Therefore, they can breastfeed their offspring, and they should. A World Health Organization meet which was expected to pass smoothly a resolution to support breast-feeding, turned nasty when the U.S. attempted to block it.

The recommendations are based on an established body of evidence showing breastmilk is nutritionally, economically and ecologically superior to formula or other breastmilk substitutes.

Oakley said, "The issues being debated were not about whether one supports breastfeeding". When Ecuador backed off - after all, no small country likes to be in Washington's gun sights - the USA threatened any other country that might want to introduce it.

"The existence of infant formula is not in question here".

The WHO said its resolution was aimed, in part, at reducing these barriers and putting more support systems in place to allow for successful breastfeeding - along with ensuring that formula can not be advertised in deceiving ways.

Health advocates had trouble finding another sponsor who did not fear USA "retaliation". While the sales of baby formula have been flat in the West over the last few years, they were on the rise in developing countries.

Of course, dominating a multi-billion dollar industry generates large profits-and plenty of money to invest in lobbying.

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