Trump Administration’s Opposition to Breastfeeding Resolution Sparks Outrage

Hall of the Palace of Nations, Geneva, Switzerland.

(From The Guardian)

Advocates for improved nutrition for babies have expressed outrage over reports that the Trump administration bullied other governments in an attempt to prevent the passage of an international resolution promoting breastfeeding.

The US delegation to the World Health Assembly in Geneva reportedly deployed threats and other heavy-handed measures to try and browbeat nations into backing off the resolution.

Under the terms of the original WHO text, countries would have encouraged their citizens to breastfeed on grounds that research overwhelmingly shows its health benefits, while warning parents to be alert to inaccurate marketing by formula milk firms.

The New York Times first reported how the Trump administration reacted forcefully to the resolution, which otherwise had the consensus support of all other assembly members. It pushed to remove a phrase from the draft text that would exhort governments to “protect, promote and support breast-feeding”.

The administration also used its network of diplomats to lean on member states. Turning on the delegation from Ecuador, the US government said that unless the South American nation withdrew its backing of the resolution it would face punitive trade moves and even the potential loss of military help in its battle against gang violence.

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