USA threatens nations over world breastfeeding resolution, shocking health officials


But delegates instead threatened retaliatory trade measures on Ecuador if they refused to drop the resolution, according to the report. A State Department official told NPR that "media reports suggesting the United States threatened a partner nation related to a World Health Assembly resolution are false".

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

At a recent gathering of the World Health Assembly, the forum through which the World Health Organization governs and makes health recommendations, USA delegates caused a stir when they attempted to dissuade delegates from Ecuador from sponsoring a resolution to encourage breastfeeding.

Aware of these problems, the World Health Organization has tried to limit the use of formula, especially in poorer countries around the globe. The main problem is that in countries where safe drinking water is hard to obtain, mixing dry formula with local water can provoke diarrhea or other illnesses that kill babies.

In 2014, the World Health Organization challenged the global community to raise by 2025 the number of babies who were exclusively breastfed during their first six months by 50 percent. What's more, the resolution was meant to discourage formula manufacturers from using "inaccurate marketing". The mother's environment can also affect the milk's composition, she said.

The US directed its ire at Ecuador when the South American nation agreed to introduce the resolution. While breastfeeding is ideal, anti-formula activists can be a bit radical in their support of the ideal.

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These companies have killed millions of babies over decades by aggressively promoting their baby formula. It could even make formula a prescription-only product, making formula accessible only as a food of last resort. 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. It is still worth United States dollars 70 billion annually.

This is not an atypical approach for some anti-formula activists. However, they faced no such threats as Ecuador from the United States. "It is also bad for the multibillion-dollar global infant formula (and dairy) business, '" Ed Pilkington reports for The Guardian. Breast milk is easy to digest, with just the right amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein for a baby's growth and development.

Ilona Kickbusch, director of the Global Health Centre at the Graduate Institute of worldwide and Development Studies in Geneva, said there was a growing fear that the Trump administration could cause lasting damage to worldwide health institutions like the WHO that have been vital in containing epidemics like Ebola and the rising death toll from diabetes and cardiovascular disease in the developing world.

Health and Human Services spokeswoman Caitlin Oakley also described as "patently false" attempts to portray the US position as anti-breastfeeding.

Although breastfeeding rates in Canada are higher than the United States, Pound said they vary across the country with certain areas lacking in educational resources for new mothers.

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