US Disputes Report That It Opposed Breastfeeding Resolution

Breastfeeding basics for mom and baby

Trump administration threatened Ecuador over its support of breastfeeding resolution

Health advocates scrambled to find another sponsor for the resolution, but at least a dozen countries, a lot of them poor nations in Africa and Latin America, backed off, citing fears of retaliation, according to officials from Uruguay, Mexico and the United States.

US delegates pushed for removal of resolution language calling on governments to "protect, promote and support breast-feeding." .

According to the New York Times, the USA delegation wanted to water down the resolution in a bid to protect the interests of infant formula manufacturers on a global scale.

In 2014, the World Health Organization challenged the global community to raise by 2025 the number of babies who were exclusively breastfed during their first six months by 50 percent.

However, as the New York Times' resident Trump Whisperer Maggie Haberman highlighted, while "calling out" the report, Trump actually confirmed its contents.

But the popularity of breastfeeding can cut into sales of infant formula manufacturers, and companies who produce formula have a long history of interfering in worldwide affairs to promote formula over breastfeeding at the expense of infant health.

Why it matters: "Breastfeeding is one of the most cost-effective interventions for improving maternal and child health", said Georges Benjamin, executive director for the American Public Health Association, in a released statement.

Trump criticized The New York Times for reporting that US officials sought to remove language that urged governments to protect, promote and support breastfeeding, along with language calling on policymakers to limit the promotion of food products, such as infant formula, that can be harmful to young children.

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"A breastfeeding mother must pump her milk as often as the baby usually eats", writes the United States Breastfeeding Committee, a nonprofit based in Chicago.

Mr. Trump said the country "strongly supports" breastfeeding, but the issue the USA representatives had was with denying access to formula. Infant formula is the most highly regulated food and the only recommended nourishment if breast milk is not available. The code urges countries to stop the inappropriate marketing of formula and other substitutes as better for babies and aims to ensure breastmilk substitutes are used safely - according to the directions, without diluting the formula - when necessary. "They should be equally supported with information and access to alternatives for the health of themselves and their babies". Millions of infants have safely consumed formula for decades.

The resolution was aimed at limiting "inaccurate or misleading marketing of formula", and encouraging breastfeeding support in all countries.

Russians eventually were the ones to introduce the legislation. It said, "The Americans did not threaten them".

"The United States believed the resolution as originally drafted called on states to erect hurdles for mothers seeking to provide nutrition to their children", said a State Department official. Ecuador was prepared to introduce the resolution.

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

Efforts to further promote breastfeeding initiatives in 2018 were met, reportedly, with unexpected hostility from U.S.

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