US Disputes Report That It Opposed Breastfeeding Resolution

US turned to threats to fight breast-feeding resolution report

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When Ecuador backed off - after all, no small country likes to be in Washington's gun sights - the US threatened any other country that might want to introduce it.

Why are we talking about this?

As US President Donald Trump's administration officials opposed a breastfeeding resolution of the World Health Organisation (WHO), actress Pamela Anderson on behalf of PETA wrote a letter to United Nations stating the importance of breastfeeding for newborns.

At first, the USA delegation tried to just water down the language in the resolution, but when that didn't work, they began to threaten and bully countries who were supporting the resolution.

President Donald Trump sent out a tweet on Monday criticizing a New York Times article that said his administration pressured less wealthy countries not to propose a resolution encouraging breastfeeding.

But the World Health Assembly wasn't trying to deny or even limit access to infant formula.

In the course of one week in July, baby formula monopolies exposed that the drive for capitalist profits kills infants, and the Trump gang showed how an imperialist regime serves these monopolies - or tries to - whatever ruthless means it takes. In those extreme cases, access to formula should be provided.

"Based on decades of research, the resolution says that mother's milk is healthiest for children and countries should strive to limit the inaccurate or misleading marketing of breast milk substitutes", the report continued. It can also help maternal health.

Health experts said the president's stance suggested a lack of knowledge about the issues. "The U.S. didn't need to have a bigger say".

Government doctors and scientists have long called attention to the health benefits of breastfeeding, both in economically advanced countries and developing nations.

Vanity Fair said the US delegation's move was proof that it values "profits over health and bulls*** over facts", defining our representatives as "thugs".

Health advocates said that such actions by the United States were blackmail and deeply troubling as they hold the world hostage for the sake of corporations.

The State Department declined to comment. 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]". Three states - Vermont, Washington and Tennessee - slipped slightly. Among the myriad issues discussed at these annual meetings are policies and initiatives related to infant nutrition, breastfeeding, and breast milk substitutes, topics that gained prominence in the Assembly in the 1980s.

But in the USA, disparities in race, income and geography underscore the work that's left to do to support US mothers who want to give their infants breastmilk.

Despite all that data, the USA has consistently lagged behind most high-income countries on both breastfeeding rates (only about half of American women are still breastfeeding at six months, as is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics) and the policies that help increase them, like paid maternity leave.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recognizes breast milk "as the best source of nutrition for most infants".

Companies that sell baby formula generate $70billion annually, but those sales have been stagnant due to the increased popularity of breastfeeding. The Make The Breast Pump Not Suck Hackathon at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology is an annual event that gives grants to projects that would improve access to breast feeding, from designing better breast pumps to improving social policies.

These days, the United States is on the outside looking in when it comes to global consensus on many things: Climate change, the Iran deal, and breastfeeding.

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