Donald Trump defends U.S. position on baby formula

President Donald Trump's administration put the interests of corporations over efforts to protect children's nutrition earlier this year when officials opposed a breastfeeding resolution that was widely considered noncontroversial, The New York Times reported Sunday. The U.S. officials, according to the Times, first tried to remove language from the resolution that called on nations to "protect, promote and support breast-feeding".

A spokesperson for the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) told the Times that USA delegates objected to the resolution because it placed "unnecessary hurdles" in front of women who choose not to breastfeed, and "stigmatizes" formula-feeding-a claim physicians rejected on social media.

The Times reported that the U.S. effort this spring during the UN-affiliated world health meeting was largely unsuccessful and that most of the original wording remained. "The U.S. strongly supports breast feeding but we don't believe women should be denied access to formula". Sales in the industry have been flat in wealthy countries in recent years, as more women embrace breast-feeding, although global sales are expected to rise by four percent in 2018.

When U.S. efforts to water down the measure failed, the delegates reportedly threatened Ecuadorian delegates with retaliatory trade measures and said the U.S. would withdraw military aid unless the country withdrew the measure.

"We were astonished, appalled and also saddened", said Patti Rundall, policy director of the British advocacy group Baby Milk Action, who has attended meetings of the assembly, the decision-making body of the World Health Organization, since the late 1980s.

The efforts of the USA were ultimately unsuccessful, as Russian Federation introduced the resolution.

The State Department declined to respond to questions, saying it could not discuss private diplomatic conversations.

Mothers breastfeeding their children.

How a Powerade bottle could be key to England's World Cup success
The record audience watched as Iceland left with a draw against Argentina, one of the favorites of the World Cup. The company said it was "aware" of the incident and congratulated England on its win.

"We recognize not all women are able to breastfeed for a variety of reasons".

'These women should have the choice and access to alternatives for the health of their babies, and not be stigmatized for the ways in which they are able to do so'.

Though high quality, safely prepared substitutes can provide adequate nutrition for infants, emphasis on breastfeeding stretches back through decades of concern from health experts and officials that milk-substitute makers were causing harm with their marketing strategies.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) defended the USA delegation's approach.

Companies that sell baby formula generate $70billion annually, but those sales have been stagnant due to the increased popularity of breastfeeding.

News of the combative approach within the World Health Assembly mirrored the Trump administration's posture toward other key worldwide bodies.

The resolution ultimately passed in a compromised form, removing language that called on the World Health Organization to support countries trying to stop "inappropriate promotion of foods for infants and young children".

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