Trump says the U.S

Howard TerryJul 10, 2018

She says a prolonged debate eventually resulted in a watered-down resolution that effectively undermined long-standing efforts to support mother's milk.

The New York Times said the USA was "embracing the interests of infant formula manufacturers" and even threatened Ecuador and other countries with financial retaliation. At first, the U.S. delegates attempted to simply dilute the pro-breastmilk message, voiding language that called for governments to "protect, promote, and support breastfeeding" and limit promotion of competing baby food products that experts warn can be harmful. When that failed, they turned to threats....

Ecuador, which was slated to introduce the resolution, was the first country targeted by American officials. They reportedly told Ecuador, who planned to introduce the resolution, that if it didn't drop the proposal, the US would punish the nation with trade measures.

An Ecuadorian official said that his government did not anticipate the harshness of America's response.

The Times said more than a dozen participants from different countries at the assembly confirmed the "showdown over the issue".

Several other countries backed away from sponsoring the resolution in fear of United States threats. Some delegates even reportedly threatened to cut its contribution to the World Health Organization. "What happened was tantamount to blackmail", she said.

The State Department declined to comment to the Times, saying it could not remark on private diplomatic discussions.

When contacted for a comment, the Department of Health and Human Services said the US stance was in support of mothers who can not breast-feed for various reasons.

And breastfeeding 'saves lives, protects babies and mothers against deadly diseases, and leads to better IQ and educational outcomes, ' according to a May report from UNICEF.

"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". The spokesman asked to remain anonymous in order to speak more freely.

The Americans did not threaten Moscow as they did Ecuador and other countries, according to the Times.

The worldwide infant formula industry, worth $70 billion, is dominated by US and European countries and has faced plateauing revenue in the developed world in recent years as awareness about the benefits of breast-feeding spreads. Overall, global sales are expected to rise by 4 per cent in 2018, according to Euromonitor, with most of that growth occurring in developing nations.

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. Jacobs said he had spoken with a dozen people from several countries who participated in the negotiations. Washington is the single largest contributor to the health organisation, providing US$845 million, or roughly 15 per cent of its budget, last year.

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".

Brooke Singman is a Politics Reporter for Fox News.

The Trump Administration is under fire for trying to bully other nations into voting against an worldwide resolution in favor of breastfeeding over formula milk for infants.

But the Americans were adamant the resolution should be less forceful.

Moms Rising, a group trying to achieve economic security for mothers in the U.S., called the American government's move "stunning and shameful", adding that "We must do everything we can to advocate for public policies that support and empower breastfeeding moms".

Health advocates had trouble finding another sponsor who did not fear US "retaliation".

"It's making everyone very nervous, because if you can't agree on health multilateralism, what kind of multilateralism can you agree on?"

USA opposition to the resolution ended, however, when Russian Federation introduced the measure. At the same Assembly, U.S. Representatives "succeeded in removing statements supporting soda taxes from a document that advises countries grappling with soaring rates of obesity". Instead, the US delegation "sought to wear down the other participants through procedural maneuvers in a series of meetings that stretched on for two days, an unexpectedly long period".

In the end, the United States was largely unsuccessful.

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