The United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly in Geneva this spring became the scene of a surprising showdown, as the USA battled with other nations over a resolution supporting the use of breast milk, the New York Times reported Sunday.
Trump argues his administration supports breastfeeding but also wants women to have access to formula.
"The failing NY Times Fake News story today about breast feeding must be called out".
Vanity Fair said the USA delegation's move was proof that it values "profits over health and bulls*** over facts", defining our representatives as "thugs".
Between 21 and 26 May 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) held their 71st World Health Assembly, which is attended by delegates from all WHO member state and serves as that organization's primary decision-making body.
Based on decades of research, the resolution says that mother's milk is healthiest for children and countries should strive to limit the inaccurate or misleading marketing of breast milk substitutes.
But the Americans were adamant the resolution should be less forceful.
The report also noted the dilution ration must be correct or babies will suffer from malnutrition and the bottles must be adequately cleaned.
The New York Times, meanwhile, published a piece that painted America as a bully.
Somehow things escalated from there into the US threatening Ecuador--the nation that was introducing the resolution--with "punishing trade measures".
Ecuador capitulated and did as the Americans demanded, The Times reported.
Health advocates scrambled to find another sponsor for the resolution, but at least a dozen countries, a lot of them poor nations in Africa and Latin America, backed off, citing fears of retaliation, according to officials from Uruguay, Mexico and the United States. "What happened was tantamount to blackmail, with the United States holding the world hostage and trying to overturn almost 40 years of consensus on the best way to protect infant and young child health".
Russians eventually were the ones to introduce the legislation. At the same meeting, they fought measures against the junk food and sugary beverage industries.
Caitlin Oakley, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services, said it's "patently false" to portray the USA position as "anti-breastfeeding".
"The resolution as originally drafted placed unnecessary hurdles for mothers seeking to provide nutrition to their children", the spokesperson said.
The Trump administration appeared to side with companies manufacturing infant formulas whose sales are threatened by women breastfeeding their newborns.
"We recognise not all women are able to breastfeed for a variety of reasons".
A Chinese mother breastfeeds her baby in Wuhan.
Companies that sell baby formula generate $70billion annually, but those sales have been stagnant due to the increased popularity of breastfeeding.
The Times reported Sunday that US officials turned to threats in an effort to throw cold water on a WHA resolution holding that breastfeeding is the healthiest option for young children and pushes countries to limit the spread of inaccurate information about breast milk substitutes.
The showdown over the issue was recounted by more than a dozen participants from several countries, many of whom requested anonymity because they feared retaliation from the United States.