USA threatens nations over world breastfeeding resolution, shocking health officials

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"Many woman need this option because of malnutrition and poverty". In addition, universal breastfeeding could save $300 billion in reduced health care costs and improved economic prospects for children.

The resolution had been expected to be approved "quickly and easily", the newspaper said. "Baby Milk Action", which was favorably quoted in the article, and ran much of the anti-formula marketing part of the assembly, is known for its long-running boycott of Nestlé, which makes and markets baby formula to mothers.

A New York Times piece published on Sunday about the purported opposition to breastfeeding by the the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, is stoking controversy.

The administration told Ecuador that if it did not pull its resolution, it would respond by cutting military aid and adopting harsh, retaliatory trade measures.

AP reported that the Times defended its reporting. It said, "The Americans did not threaten them".

Officials from the US, Uruguay, and Mexico said that at least a dozen other countries-many of which are poor countries in Africa and Latin America-dropped the resolution after the US sucked away their interest.

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

The Times said that in the end, the Russian delegation stepped in as the resolution's sponsor.

The US threatened Ecuador and other countries of withdrawing military support and trade retaliation so they would pull sponsorship.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services said to CNN, "The issues being debated were not about whether one supports breastfeeding".

But the popularity of breastfeeding can cut into sales of infant formula manufacturers, and companies who produce formula have a long history of interfering in global affairs to promote formula over breastfeeding at the expense of infant health.

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

The State Department declined to comment. The resolution, which was based on decades of scientific research, encouraged countries to limit false or deceptive advertising of breast milk substitutes, and called on governments to publicly support breastfeeding. It touted the benefits of breastfeeding in its response, saying that it estimates that about 820,000 child lives would be saved every year if all infants under the age of six months were breastfed.

"And now the U.S. Gov is against breastfeeding in favor of formula companies", a DailyKos story blared. 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". Of course, it is in line with the general attitude of the U.S., which has earlier opposed taxes on sugared drinks and attacked changes in licensing law proposed to deliver life-saving medicines in poor countries.

The US directed its ire at Ecuador when the South American nation agreed to introduce the resolution.



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