U.S. Tries To Derail WHO Resolution Endorsing Breastfeeding

Trump administration threatened Ecuador over its support of breastfeeding resolution

He suggested the reporting was false, but then said: "The U.S. strongly supports breastfeeding but we don't believe women should be denied access to formula".

Worldwide delegates to the United Nation's World Health Assembly looked on at the group's recent meeting, as USA representatives appeared to put the interests of the $70 billion baby food industry ahead of those of parents and children-and pressured other countries to do the same.

"In a stunning confrontation noted to be another example of support by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump for corporate interests on environmental and public health issues, U.S. officials demanded that United Nations health branch WHA - the governing body for the World Health Organization (WHO) - shelve a resolution ...", it goes on, largely re-reporting the Times piece, as do all follow-up stories. Anderson was inspired to write the letter after the United States pushed to weaken the language of a WHO resolution that called on world governments to "protect, promote, and support breastfeeding", a move that some believe is connected to protecting the interests of the U.S. dairy industry.

"The failing NY Times Fake News story today about breast feeding must be called out", Trump tweeted.

"The United States was fighting to protect women's abilities to make the best choices for the nutrition of their babies". Milk from a mother to a child is also nutritionally specific.

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For instance, "mothers who must return to work shortly postpartum face enormous challenges in establishing lactation and continuing to breastfeed as recommended", she said.

Lucy Sullivan, the executive director of 1,000 Days, which promotes nutrition for children and women, told NPR that she does not agree the text would have reduced access to formula. "They may also not have the support of skilled breastfeeding counselors and other health care providers who can assist them with breastfeeding difficulties".

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. Babies gain immunity and other protective nutrients from their mothers' breastmilk. 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". But in 2015, Texas passed a law mandating that public employers (like cities, counties and school districts) give breastfeeding moms breaks and provide a private space for them to pump during the workday other than a "multiple user bathroom". "Many women need this option because of malnutrition and poverty", Trump tweeted Monday.

Although the US and many other countries promote a "breast is best" policy, many mothers are unable to breastfeed for a variety of reasons like medical challenges, insufficient maternity leave, or inability to afford time away from work often required for exclusive breastfeeding. "Neither is the availability of infant formula", said Sullivan.

Infant formula represents a huge global market - worth $47 billion in 2015 - with emerging markets accounting for most of the current growth. "The Trump administration takes a bold stance against mother's milk", a New Republic headline read. His administration is not against breastfeeding, he argued, they just wanted to get rid of some language in the resolution that was hostile to infant formulas. Perez-Escamilla is also a scientific adviser to World Health Organization on the topic of breastfeeding.

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