Trump blasts 'failing NY Times' over report on 'opposition' to breastfeeding measure

Ric Francis via ZUMA

Ric Francis via ZUMA

But was it true?

Additional coverage of the New York Times story is available from Axios, CNN, Forbes, The Hill, HuffPost, Newsweek, Slate, USA TODAY, and Vox. "Many women need this option because of malnutrition and poverty", Trump tweeted.

In opposing the resolution, the US was said to align with the corporate interests of formula manufacturers. They also imply in their advertising that breastfeeding is what poor women do who don't know better. 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.

The Americans were blunt: If Ecuador refused to drop the resolution, Washington would unleash punishing trade measures and withdraw crucial military aid.

So why was the United States so reluctant to ratify a UN resolution on promoting breastfeeding worldwide and limiting advertisements for baby formula?

The Trump administration's reported attempt to block an worldwide measure promoting breastfeeding could make it appear breastfeeding is under attack. The Donald Trump administration not only aids and abets these crimes, it does so in such a blatant way that it is impossible to ignore. Some delegates even reportedly threatened to cut its contribution to the World Health Organization. In 2016, a proposal was discussed that would extend bans on marketing formulas and other supplemental nutrition. It only sought for regulations on infant formula manufacturers so that they won't lie to the public and to emphasize on the importance and proven benefits of breastfeeding.

The president's tweet was a direct response to an article published by The New York Times on Sunday, titled "U.S. Opposition to Breast-Feeding Resolution Stuns World Health Officials." .

Breast milk is linked to lower risks for children for everything from neurological development problems to diabetes.

"The issues being debated, were not about whether one supports breastfeeding".

The Infant Nutrition Council of America and its members have always shared the goal of supporting and promoting the benefits of breastfeeding; however, many parents can not or choose not to breastfeed. Who has the authority to say when a lack of benefit is unsafe?

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). So when United States representatives launched their surprise attack, the world could only read it as open support for the $70 billion formula industry, whose sales have been tapering off.

This is not an atypical approach for some anti-formula activists. Infant formula companies "use aggressive, clandestine and often illegal methods to target mothers in the poorest parts of the world to encourage them to choose powdered milk over breastfeeding", the report said. Interestingly enough, the United States did not threaten Russian Federation like it did Ecuador. "All the member states needed to have a say".

Health advocates had trouble finding another sponsor who did not fear USA "retaliation". Describing radical anti-formula efforts as "encouragement of breastfeeding", as media reports did, is extremely tendentious.

A State Department official said the US believed "the resolution as originally drafted called on states to erect hurdles for mothers seeking to provide nutrition to their children".

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