U.S. puts fierce squeeze on breastfeeding policy, shocking health officials
10 July, 2018, 15:58 | Author: Angel Logan
Maggie Haberman, a White House reporter for the Times, noted in a tweet on Monday that after calling the newspaper's report false, Trump confirmed its central premise: that his administration opposed the resolution.
The Times says this scenario was verified by several other delegates present, many of whom requested anonymity for fear of retaliation from the U.S.
"The failing NY Times Fake News story today about breast feeding must be called out", Trump tweeted.
When contacted for a comment, the Department of Health and Human Services said the USA stance was in support of mothers who can not breast-feed for various reasons.
Eventually, Russia introduced the resolution, and the U.S. was unable to blunt the measure, although its delegation successfully struck language calling for the global health body to provide technical support for nations seeking to stop "inappropriate promotion of foods for infants and young children", and added the phrase "evidence based" to certain provisions, the Times reported.
A resolution to encourage breast-feeding was expected to be approved quickly and easily by the hundreds of government delegates who gathered this spring in Geneva for the United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly. When that largely failed, the USA turned to threats-demanding that Ecuador's delegation refrain from introducing the bill as planned or be targeted with trade measures and cuts to military aid, the Times reports. The Department of Health and Human Services, however, defended its decision to reword the resolution.
"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".
An Ecuadorian official said that his government did not anticipate the harshness of America's response.
The US State Department has refused to comment on the report.
Other media outlets picked up the story of the Trump administration versus breastfeeding mothers.
The Times characterized the dispute at the World Health Assembly as "the latest example of the Trump administration siding with corporate interests on numerous public health and environmental issues".
The World Health Assembly at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva. "At what point do they start laughing at us as a country?"
It was only when Russian Federation introduced the resolution that American officials backed off.
A 2016 statement passed uncontroversially at WHO's 69th assembly affirmed the organization's position that "the lives of more 820,000 children could be saved every year if all mothers followed [the WHO's] advice to start breastfeeding within an hour of birth, give only breast milk for the first six months, and continue breastfeeding until their children reach the age of two alongside appropriate complementary foods".
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).
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.
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