US Disputes Report That It Opposed Breastfeeding Resolution

Trump administration threatened Ecuador over its support of breastfeeding resolution

Trump administration threatened Ecuador over its support of breastfeeding resolution

Patti Rundall, the policy director of the British advocacy group Baby Milk Action, said she was "appalled and also saddened" by the USA government's alleged threats.

'The failing NY Times Fake News story today about breast feeding must be called out.

Hundreds of government delegates had gathered at the United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly in Geneva in May.

The Times reported that the USA delegation threatened other nations, by suggesting that the US would implement trade measures with the goal of punishing them, citing more than a dozen participants from several of the countries present.

And while Rundall said she "didn't want to give too many details away", she indeed confirmed to RT that the U.S. did issue threats to achieve its goal of having the resolution dropped. Ecuador, which had planned to introduce the measure, was the first to find itself in the cross hairs. "Even though I've argued with United States politicians and they say it didn't happen, it definitely happened", she said.

Patti Rundall, the policy director of the British advocacy group Baby Milk Action, told The Times that what occurred was "tantamount to blackmail, with the USA holding the world hostage and trying to overturn almost 40 years of consensus on best way to protect infant and young child health".

The resolution was eventually passed, but only after the Russian government reintroduced the measure. The resolution ended up passing, though the USA did succeed in getting the language altered slightly. The United States and many countries around the world now abide by the International Code on Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes, a health policy framework for promoting breastfeeding adopted in 1981.

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Such chaos is unusual at this type of meeting, according to Zehner.

She says health leaders worry that as long as the formula industry is trying to make money, there is a change for false health information to be spread. "[The resolution was just] embracing the science that breastfeeding is the best form of nutrition for a baby". Additional research suggests breastfeeding offers some protection to women against breast and ovarian cancer, and osteoporosis later in life.

Met with resistance from nations around the table, US delegates began threatening, according to other officials at the summit. The embassy did not respond to NPR's request for comment.

Health advocates had trouble finding another sponsor who did not fear USA "retaliation". However, a spokesperson did indicate that the USA had differences of opinion with other countries about the original text.

Oakley said, "The issues being debated were not about whether one supports breastfeeding".

The official said the United States "recognizes that breastfeeding and provision of breast milk is best for all babies", but also recognizes that "not all women are able to breastfeed for a variety of reasons".

Lucy Sullivan, executive director of 1,000 Days, a group seeking to improve nutrition for babies, said the threats amounted to "public health versus private profit". Since the 1980s, governments, non-governmental organizations, and corporations have been limited from marketing formula for infants six months of age and younger. "There is no one claims infant formula is superior to breast milk". "What is in question here is the way that these products are promoted and pushed and marketed by these companies and how these companies are interfering in public health policy". Representatives of some corporate interests spoke out against aspects of the resolution at a listening session hosted by the Department of Health and Human Services, said Sullivan. But the U.S. delegation, according to the Times, sided with the $70 billion baby food industry.

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