Trump Admin Favored Corporations In Opposing Breastfeeding Resolution

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Calling it "Fake News", Trump criticized a New York Times story reporting that US officials sought to remove language that urged governments to protect, promote and support breastfeeding, along with language calling on policymakers to limit the promotion of food products, such as infant formula, that can be harmful to young children.

Donald Trump has weighed in on USA position on breastfeeding.

According to the Times report on Sunday based on interviews with dozens of meeting participants, United States negotiations in Geneva objected to the resolution encouraging breastfeeding around the world and allegedly resorted to intimidation tactics to bully other countries into dropping it.

The US$70 billion industry, which is dominated by a handful of US and European companies, has seen sales flatten in wealthy countries in recent years, as more women embrace breastfeeding.

President Trump disputed a New York Times report, saying that the U.S.

The Department of Health and Human Services, which said it did not threaten Ecuador, defended its decision to push back against the resolution. The Ecuadorian delegates acquiesced, and health advocates struggled to find another sponsor for the resolution. When Ecuador refused to water down the resolution as the United States requested, according to the Times, the Trump administration threatened punishing trade measures and withdrawing military aid.

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The State Department would not answer the Times' questions. "Many women are not able to breastfeed for a variety of reasons, these women should not be stigmatized; they should be equally supported with information and access to alternatives for the health of themselves and their babies", Caitlin Oakley said in a statement to The Hill.

Officials at the assembly this spring were shocked by the Trump administration's reaction to the resolution and support for infant formula manufacturers, but perhaps they shouldn't have been. What is at stake: breastfeeding saves women and children's lives.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) defended the U.S. delegation's approach. Their sales have increased, however, in developing countries.

Officials also reportedly threatened to cut United States aid to the World Health Organization - over $118m (£89m) this year, which amounts to roughly 15% of the organisation's annual budget. "At what point do they start laughing at us as a country?"

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.

Other wording that called for policy makers to restrict the promotion of food products that could potentially harm children also irked American delegates.

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