Trump says United States had opposed formula limits, not breastfeeding

Breastfeeding basics for mom and baby

Breastfeeding basics for mom and baby

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.

Ecuador's support for an worldwide resolution backing breastfeeding has triggered United States threats of punitive trade measures and the axing of military aid. The U.S. strongly supports breast feeding but we don't believe a woman should be denied access to formula.

The Assembly resolution was based on decades of research that concluded mother's milk was best, and that countries should strive to limit the inaccurate or misleading marketing of breast-milk substitutes.

The report also noted the dilution ration must be correct or babies will suffer from malnutrition and the bottles must be adequately cleaned.

World Health Organization representatives when those initiatives were first introduced by a delegation from Ecuador, the New York Times reported on 8 July 2018. They reportedly told Ecuador, who planned to introduce the resolution, that if it didn't drop the proposal, the USA would punish the nation with trade measures.

Ecuador capitulated and did as the Americans demanded, The Times reported.

Health advocates had trouble finding another sponsor who did not fear USA "retaliation".

Several other countries backed away from sponsoring the resolution in fear of U.S. threats.

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. "What happened 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". "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. They also wanted the lessening of restrictions on the promotion of potentially harmful food products.

'The resolution as originally drafted placed unnecessary hurdles for mothers seeking to provide nutrition to their children, ' an H.H.S. spokesman said.

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 worldwide affairs to promote formula over breastfeeding at the expense of infant health.

"Many women are not able to breastfeed for a variety of reasons, these women should not be stigmatised; they should be equally supported with information and access to alternatives for the health of themselves and their babies".

The State Department would not answer the Times' questions.

Which of course was not really what the debate was about - since formula is perfectly acceptable and mothers should indeed be able to make their own choice - but rather putting pen to paper on the scientifically-backed conclusion that breastmilk is more beneficial than formula.

Companies that sell baby formula generate $70billion annually, but those sales have been stagnant due to the increased popularity of breastfeeding.

An Ecuadorian official said that his government did not anticipate the harshness of America's response.

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