USA threatens nations over world breastfeeding resolution, shocking health officials

Bloomberg via Getty Images

Bloomberg via Getty Images

Earlier this year, countries sent diplomats to Geneva for a meeting of the World Health Organization, the UN-affiliated organization.

A report in a prominent USA newspaper Sunday said the United States bullied and threatened nations in an effort to water down a World Health Assembly resolution supporting breastfeeding.

"The failing NY Times Fake News story today about breastfeeding must be called out".

When contacted for a comment, the Department of Health and Human Services said the US stance was in support of mothers who can not breast-feed for various reasons.

The efforts of the United States were ultimately unsuccessful, as Russian Federation introduced the resolution.

The resolution was ultimately approved even in the face of USA opposition, but the Trump administration successfully stripped out language that called for the World Health Organization to support nations working to crack down on "inappropriate promotion of foods for infants and young children".

The United States reportedly pressured Ecuador to drop sponsorship of the text, threatening trade sanctions and military aid cuts.

President Donald Trump sent out a tweet on Monday criticizing a New York Times article that said his administration pressured less wealthy countries not to propose a resolution encouraging breastfeeding.

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A spokesperson for HHS told the Times, "We recognize not all women are able to breast-feed for a variety of reasons". It added that "not all women are able to breastfeed", and they "should have the choice and access to alternatives".

Brooke Singman is a Politics Reporter for Fox News. It simply acknowledges the scientific consensus that breastfeeding is the healthiest option for infants, and works to regulate infant formula manufacturers so that they are not lying to consumers. The Ecuadorean government quickly acquiesced.

The issue stemmed around the wording of a new resolution that sought to promote breastfeeding.

The State Department declined the Times' request to comment and said it could not discuss private diplomatic conversations. According to the Times, the saga shows how the Trump administration backs corporations over the public good and how the Trump administration is disrupting the rules-based order. It also pushed, successfully, to get statements supporting soda taxes removed from guidelines for countries dealing with skyrocketing obesity rates.

The United States suggested a shorter and more streamlined resolution that encouraged promoting exclusive breastfeeding as well as global initiatives to encourage breastfeeding in hospitals. Taking a break from being an all-purpose bogeyman, Russia, we're told, saved the day and the United States was thwarted.

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

Breast milk is better than formula and reduces infant mortality and morbidity.

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

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