Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Stella Potter

Trump blasts 'failing NY Times' over report on 'opposition' to breastfeeding measure

Trump blasts 'failing NY Times' over report on 'opposition' to breastfeeding measure

President Trump rejected accusations on Monday from a New York Times report that said the USA worked against a breastfeeding amendment at the World Health Assembly.

The Ecuadorian delegation, for instance, was expected to introduce the resolution but was weaned off the idea after the U.S. threatened to impose harmful trade measures and withdraw military assistance-which the USA is providing in the northern part of the country to help address violence spilling over the border from Colombia. Ecuador backed down, and at least a dozen countries avoided the resolution out of fear of retaliation by the United States.

The efforts of the U.S. were ultimately unsuccessful, as Russian Federation introduced the resolution.

- The U.S. opposed a World Health Assembly resolution to encourage breastfeeding because it called for limits on the promotion of infant formula, not because of objections to breastfeeding, President Donald Trump tweeted Monday. "The U.S. strongly supports breast feeding but we don't believe women should be denied access to formula".

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services, in an email to the Times, defended the administration's stance. Their sales have increased, however, in developing countries.

A Chinese mother breastfeeds her baby in Wuhan. The U.S. provides about 15 percent of WHO's budget, at $845 million. The editors then again accused the Trump administration of siding with "corporate interests".


Brooke Singman is a Politics Reporter for Fox News. At the same Assembly, U.S. Representatives "succeeded in removing statements supporting soda taxes from a document that advises countries grappling with soaring rates of obesity".

The World Health Assembly at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva. Jacobs said he had spoken with a dozen people from several countries who participated in the negotiations.

The United States also insisted that the words "evidence-based" accompany references to long-established initiatives that promote breastfeeding, which critics described as a ploy that could be used to undermine programs that provide parents with feeding advice and support. Nevertheless, the United States delegation sought to wear down the other participants through procedural maneuvers in a series of meetings that stretched on for two days, an unexpectedly long period.

Other wording that called for policy makers to restrict the promotion of food products that could potentially harm children also irked American delegates. 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 Times notes a 2016 series in the Lancet in which researchers estimated that universal breastfeeding could spare the lives of 823,000 children each year and save $302 billion in economic losses.

Of course, if ratified, the industry would shrink like an unmilked breast (fun fact: the free formula sample bag given in many hospitals includes an ice-pack to help stop milk flow in new mothers).

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