United States puts fierce squeeze on breastfeeding policy, shocking health officials

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Eventually, Russia introduced the resolution, and the U.S. was unable to blunt the measure, although its delegation successfully struck language calling for the global health body to provide technical support for nations seeking to stop "inappropriate promotion of foods for infants and young children", and added the phrase "evidence based" to certain provisions, the Times reported.

The intensity of USA opposition to the measure shocked public health officials and diplomats, marked a stark contrast from the Obama administration's support of the World Health Organization (WHO)'s position on breast-feeding.

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.

Trump wrote on Monday: "The US strongly supports breast feeding but we don't believe women should be denied access to formula".

President Trump disputed a New York Times report, saying that the U.S.

"We were astonished, appalled and also saddened", said Patti Rundall, policy director of the British advocacy organization Baby Milk Action.


The Department of Health and Human Services, which said it did not threaten Ecuador, defended its decision to push back against the resolution.

An Ecuadorian official said that his government did not anticipate the harshness of America's response.

According to The Times, U.S. officials threatened harmful trade practices against Ecuador, who planned to introduce the initiative, unless they withdrew it.

The State Department declined the Times' request to comment and said it could not discuss private diplomatic conversations.

"We recognise not all women are able to breastfeed for a variety of reasons".

"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", a spokesperson said in an email.


The US eventually relented and the resolution passed largely in its original form.

And breastfeeding 'saves lives, protects babies and mothers against deadly diseases, and leads to better IQ and educational outcomes, ' according to a May report from UNICEF.

The United States tried to stop a pro-breastfeeding resolution at the United Nations, but ultimately failed. Washington is the single largest contributor to the health organisation, providing US$845 million, or roughly 15 per cent of its budget, last year.

The confrontation was the latest example of the Trump administration siding with corporate interests on numerous public health and environmental issues.

The Trump Administration is under fire for trying to bully other nations into voting against an global resolution in favor of breastfeeding over formula milk for infants. Some language was still changed however, including removing "inappropriate promotion of foods for infants and young children" and adding "evidence-based" to some statements.


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