Media Promote Myth Trump Favors Formula Makers over Breastfed Babies

US turned to threats to fight breast-feeding resolution report

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According to the New York Times, the US delegation wanted to water down the resolution in a bid to protect the interests of infant formula manufacturers on a global scale.

According to the Times, the U.S. delegation threatened retribution on trade and military aid to Ecuador to get the nation to drop the resolution and at least a dozen countries also avoided the resolution out of fear of the US.

Fearing retaliation, several other countries backed away from the measure as well, according to the report.

The resolution was eventually passed when Russian Federation sponsored another version that largely resisted USA demands.

"The New York Times reported that the U.S. attempted to "water down" the wording of the resolution, focusing on two passages, the article said: "one requiring that countries "'protect, promote and support breast-feeding, '" and another that would place restrictions on companies selling baby formula that is, according to health officials, harmful.

Trump has reportedly demonstrated his disgust for breastfeeding-or even the specter of breastfeeding-before: A lawyer said Trump had an "absolute meltdown" when she requested a break to pump breast milk and called her disgusting.

Trump hit out at the Times article while saying the United States was committed to ensuring women are not "denied" formula. We recognize not all women are able to breastfeed for a variety of reasons. I mean, it's really been a problem in - around the world to have misleading marketing suggesting that substitutes are as good as mother's milk. "It's supposed to move pretty smoothly because all of this work has been done in advance", she said. The WHO has long said that breastfeeding is the optimal feeding method for infants and recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a child's life and continued feeding with introduction of other foods up to two years of age.

Breastfeeding is, by just about every standard, better for both the baby and for the mother in every conceivable way, according to WebMD, a belief shared by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Infant formula companies "use aggressive, clandestine and often illegal methods to target mothers in the poorest parts of the world to encourage them to choose powdered milk over breastfeeding", the report said.

An HHS spokesperson added that the "resolution as originally drafted placed unnecessary hurdles for mothers seeking to provide nutrition to their children". Most of the sources requested anonymity because they feared retaliation from US officials.

"A major risk of formula feeding in low-income settings is that the formula is available without the other safety precautions", Palmquist said.

An aggressive effort by US 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. Millions of infants have safely consumed formula for decades.

Erroneously advertised baby formulas, while claiming to be authentic, can be detrimental to babies' health.

"The formula industry is a multibillion-dollar industry", said Sullivan.

The Trump administration's reported attempt to block an global measure promoting breastfeeding could make it appear breastfeeding is under attack.

UNICEF and World Health Organization also recommend exclusive breastfeeding from within an hour of birth until the baby is 6 months old.

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