Did The U.S. Threaten Ecuador Over A Breastfeeding Resolution?

Maricruz Casares
Julio 12, 2018

His administration is not against breastfeeding, he argued, they just wanted to get rid of some language in the resolution that was hostile to infant formulas.

"The failing NY Times Fake News story today about breast feeding must be called out", Trump tweeted.

USA officials made threats to Ecuador in an attempt to water down a resolution in support of breastfeeding, according to a report in The New York Times.

So while there is a reasonable position on Trump's side of the argument, for it to manifest, we have to trust that Trump and his mantourage of advisers can articulate the need as eloquently as Mair does above.

The U.S. stance on the health issue was enough to draw heated reaction from a number of progressive-leaning websites.

"Reducing the debate about the World Health Assembly resolution to "breastfeeding vs. formula feeding" is misleading as both the draft and final Resolutions were supportive of breastfeeding", said Mardi Mountford, President of The Infant Nutrition Council of America.

But the US reportedly did not object when Russian Federation stepped in to support the resolution, and it was approved.

More news: Roy Keane tears into England fans for getting carried away

Following the USA intervention, health advocates tried to find another sponsor for the resolution, but reports suggest, many countries who could benefit from the move in Africa and Latin America backed off, fearing Washington's wrath, officials from Uruguay, Mexico, and the United States told the newspaper.

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.

According to the report, the delegation fought against elements in the resolution that would have demanded member states "protect, promote and support breast-feeding" and restrict potentially unsafe infant foods.

Ecuador's Health Minister Veronica Espinosa said her country had fought for passage of the resolution and "did not give in to private or commercial interests, or any other form of pressure".

But research has long shown that breastfeeding is the best way to nourish an infant, boost their immune system, prevent them from being sick or becoming overweight or obese and forge bonding between mother and child. "The United States was fighting to protect women's abilities to make the best choices for the nutrition of their babies".

Why it matters: "Breastfeeding is one of the most cost-effective interventions for improving maternal and child health", said Georges Benjamin, executive director for the American Public Health Association, in a released statement. "They should be equally supported with information and access to alternatives for the health of themselves and their babies". Millions of infants have safely consumed formula for decades. Of course, it is in line with the general attitude of the United States, which has earlier opposed taxes on sugared drinks and attacked changes in licensing law proposed to deliver life-saving medicines in poor countries.

Of course, dominating a multi-billion dollar industry generates large profits-and plenty of money to invest in lobbying.

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