Donald Trump defends USA position against global breastfeeding resolution

  • Donald Trump defends USA position against global breastfeeding resolution

Donald Trump defends USA position against global breastfeeding resolution

Baby formula companies have for decades sold more product in developing countries than developed ones, the Times reported, suggesting the United States policy was in line with companies' interests.

The resolution was introduced by Ecuador at the World Health Assembly in Geneva in May, and the USA delegation reportedly sought to water down the measure by removing language that called on governments to "protect, promote and support breast-feeding", along with another section calling on policymakers to restrict the promotion of food products that could have negative effects on young children, according to the Times.

The administration also denied that US officials had threatened trade sanctions in the debate over the breastfeeding resolution.

Threats to end vital United States military aid and punishing trade measures forced the Ecuador delegates to drop out.

They frantically tried to find other countries who would sponsor the resolution, but these nations - mostly from Latin America and Africa - were frightened off by the specter of American threats.

What happened was tantamount to blackmail.

"What happened was tantamount to blackmail, with the USA holding the world hostage and trying to overturn almost 40 years of consensus on [the] best way to protect infant and your child health", Randall said.

Russians eventually were the ones to introduce the legislation.

The US State Department has refused to comment on the report. The Department of Health and Human Services, however, defended its decision to reword the resolution.

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 resolution as originally drafted placed unnecessary hurdles for mothers seeking to provide nutrition to their children", the spokesperson said.

'We recognize not all women are able to breastfeed for a variety of reasons.

The spokesman asked to remain anonymous in order to speak more freely. Ecuador quickly dropped its support for the resolution.

The US$70 billion industry, which is dominated by a handful of US and European companies, has seen sales flatten in wealthy countries in recent years, as more women embrace breastfeeding. Their sales have increased, however, in developing countries.

The United States tried to stop a pro-breastfeeding resolution at the United Nations, but ultimately failed.

During the deliberations, some American delegates even suggested the United States might cut its contribution to the World Health Organization, several negotiators said.

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

They also sought to hinder World Health Organization efforts to provide lifesaving medications to undeveloped countries.

Moms Rising, a group trying to achieve economic security for mothers in the U.S., called the American government's move "stunning and shameful", adding that "We must do everything we can to advocate for public policies that support and empower breastfeeding moms".

"It's making everyone very nervous, because if you can't agree on health multilateralism, what kind of multilateralism can you agree on?"

Other wording that called for policy makers to restrict the promotion of food products that could potentially harm children also irked American delegates.

The Trump administration shocked global health officials when it pushed back on decades of scientific research that recognized breast milk as the healthiest option for babies. A 2016 study found that "the deaths of 823,000 children and 20,000 mothers each year could be averted through universal breastfeeding, along with economic savings of $300 billion [USD]".

The move reflected the USA government's championing of the $US70 billion ($94 billion) baby formula industry - mainly based in the U.S. and Europe.