US Disputes Report That It Opposed Breastfeeding Resolution

Trump administration threatened Ecuador over its support of breastfeeding resolution

Trump administration threatened Ecuador over its support of breastfeeding resolution

"The U.S. strongly supports breastfeeding but we don't believe women should be denied access to formula", Trump posted on Twitter Monday afternoon. In a booklet published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2008, and still available online, government officials listed multiple benefits for employers that support breastfeeding mothers and their partners. "Infant formula is the only safe, nutritious feeding option for babies who can not or do not receive breast milk".

Russian Federation eventually introduced the resolution.

"Caitlin Oakley, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services, said it's "patently false" to portray the US position as 'anti-breastfeeding'". When that largely failed, the US 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.

'These women should have the choice and access to alternatives for the health of their babies, and not be stigmatized for the ways in which they are able to do so'.

A 2016 study by The Lancet, one of the world's most prestigious medical journals, found breastfeeding could prevent 80,000 child deaths a year globally.

Elisabeth Sterken of the Infant Feeding Action Coalition in Canada says she was among the official observers in Geneva when a US delegation took issue with various proposals that included marketing restrictions on breast milk substitutes. And while the United States lags behind many developed nations, most USA states have significantly improved breastfeeding rates over the past decade.

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The United States tried to stop a pro-breastfeeding resolution at the United Nations, but ultimately failed. However, American delegates took the side of corporate formula makers over breastfeeding mothers. 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. "Baby Milk Action", which was favorably quoted in the article, and ran much of the anti-formula marketing part of the assembly, is known for its long-running boycott of Nestlé, which makes and markets baby formula to mothers.

Breast milk can change to meet a child's needs. In order to make informed nutrition decisions for their infants, parents have the right to access accurate information on appropriate and safe feeding options. Millions of infants have safely consumed formula for decades.

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

Lactation is tricky terrain, particularly for women in the workplace, who must find the time and space to pump breast milk with certain frequency or risk their supply drying up. While the sales of baby formula have been flat in the West over the last few years, they were on the rise in developing countries.

In addition to the trade threats, an Ecuadorean government official told the Times the US threatened to withdrawal military support from northern Ecuador, where violence from boarding Colombia causes ongoing issues.

Many American women agree, saying the cultural mandate to breastfeed no matter their personal circumstances and zealous hospital lactation programs is another example of how women's bodies are not their own to manage.

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