Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

United States threatened nations over breastfeeding resolution

United States threatened nations over breastfeeding resolution

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.

According to the Times report on Sunday based on interviews with dozens of meeting participants, USA negotiations in Geneva objected to the resolution encouraging breastfeeding around the world and allegedly resorted to intimidation tactics to bully other countries into dropping it.

"The failing NY Times Fake News story today about breast feeding must be called out", Trump tweeted. Though the USA was able to get Ecuador to drop the resolution, delegates from Russian Federation later introduced it with only minor concessions made to the US delegation's position.

United States delegates sought to weaken a World Health Assembly resolution encouraging breast-feeding this spring, the New York Times reported Sunday, backing the interests of infant-formula manufacturers instead.

The Times reported that the USA delegation threatened other nations, by suggesting that the US would implement trade measures with the objective of punishing them, citing more than a dozen participants from several of the countries present.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) defended the United States delegation's approach.

'We recognize not all women are able to breastfeed for a variety of reasons. "They should be equally supported with information and access to alternatives for the health of themselves and their babies".

When the Trump administration failed to convince member states to water down the language about breastfeeding and formulas, it resorted to threats, according to The New York Times. The Ecuadorean government quickly acquiesced.

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"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.

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.

The final resolution retained much of the original wording, despite American efforts.

Mothers breastfeeding their children. At the same Assembly, U.S. Representatives "succeeded in removing statements supporting soda taxes from a document that advises countries grappling with soaring rates of obesity".

A 2016 report in the medical journal The Lancet estimated that 823,000 child deaths around the world could be prevented each year through universal breastfeeding.

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

Elisabeth Sterken, director of the Infant Feeding Action Coalition in Canada, said four decades of research have established the importance of breast milk, which provides essential nutrients as well as hormones and antibodies that protect newborns against infectious disease.

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