Trump administration threatened tiny nation over breastfeeding

Trump administration threatened tiny nation over breastfeeding

Trump administration threatened tiny nation over breastfeeding

President Donald Trump weighed in Monday to defend women's "access" to formula milk after an article accused the United States of seeking to torpedo a World Health Organization resolution on breastfeeding.

A New York Times report claimed U.S. officials fought against language that all governments should "protect, promote and support breastfeeding".

'What happened was tantamount to blackmail, with the US holding the world hostage and trying to overturn almost 40 years of consensus on the best way to protect infant and young child health'.

Elisabeth Sterken of the Infant Feeding Action Coalition in Canada says she was among the official observers in Geneva when a US delegation took issue with various proposals that included marketing restrictions on breast milk substitutes. They found no impact, except under one condition: In communities that lack clean water, access to formula raised infant mortality by 9.4 per 1000 births-essentially, the availability of formula "led to more bad water getting to infants", he said.

Although formula feeding is a great option for mothers who can't breastfeed, current medical literature strongly supports breastfeeding for mothers and babies. However, American delegates took the side of corporate formula makers over breastfeeding mothers.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services, in an email to the Times, defended the administration's stance.

The administration also denied that US officials had threatened trade sanctions in the debate over the breastfeeding resolution. They were the only country to vote against it in 1981.

The Times says this scenario was verified by several other delegates present, many of whom requested anonymity for fear of retaliation from the U.S. He said that plenty of other research suggests breast feeding is healthier for kids and mothers alike.

An aggressive effort by USA officials to weaken an worldwide resolution to promote breastfeeding this year is the latest example of the government taking an industry's side in global public health, advocates said. "We feel that it is wrong when a big country tries to push around some very small countries", a Russian delegate told the Times of Russia's decision to introduce the resolution.

"We were astonished, appalled and also saddened", Rundall told the New York Times.

"The United States has a long history of supporting mothers and breastfeeding around the world", HHS spokeswoman Caitlin Oakley said. According to UNICEF, "an exclusively breastfed child is 14 times less likely to die in the first six months than a non-breastfed child".

Experts have linked breastfeeding to many health benefits because of the disease-fighting antibodies it offers babies. So when U.S. representatives launched their surprise attack, the world could only read it as open support for the $70 billion formula industry, whose sales have been tapering off.

The original WHO resolution "does not in any way 'deny access to infant formula, ' " said Aunchalee Palmquist, an assistant professor in the Department of Maternal and Child Health and the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

According to Suzanne Ehlers, president and CEO of reproductive rights organization PAI, the Trump administration has aggressively cut back US support for public-health efforts aimed at women.

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