World Health Organization got Trumped over breastfeeding resolution

Arturo Kim
July 11, 2018

Many of them, however, asked to remain anonymous because they fear USA retaliation.

But more than a dozen participants from several countries-most requesting anonymity out of fear of United States retaliation-told the Times that the American officials surprised health experts and fellow delegates alike by fiercely opposing the resolution.

"U.S. Opposition to Breast-Feeding Resolution Stuns World Health Officials", blared the article's headline.

Trump has reportedly demonstrated his disgust for breastfeeding-or even the specter of breastfeeding-before: A lawyer said Trump had an "absolute meltdown" when she requested a break to pump breast milk and called her disgusting. However, the USA was successful in removing language that said the World Health Organization would support countries trying to stop "inappropriate promotion of foods for infants and young children". Similar approaches have been successful in refugee camps, for instance, as well as in post-earthquake Ecuador-which is one of only 23 countries where more than 60% of children under six months are exclusively breastfed.

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

The State Department official said the United States works "to identify common cause when possible and does not shy away from expressing its disagreement when necessary".

The issue stemmed around the wording of a new resolution that sought to promote breastfeeding. Mothers and babies together result in longer breastfeeding duration rates.

"Many women are not able to breastfeed for a variety of reasons, these women should not be stigmatized", Oakley added in the statement. It said, "The Americans did not threaten them". "Over all, global sales are expected to rise by 4 percent in 2018, according to Euromonitor, with most of that growth occurring in developing nations".

Although US officials issued a denial, Vox dug into the unchained id of Trump's Twitter feed and found his jibe at a lawyer who "wanted to breast pump in front of me at dep".

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Officials also reportedly threatened to cut United States aid to the World Health Organization - over $118m (£89m) this year, which amounts to roughly 15% of the organisation's annual budget. Washington is the single largest contributor to the health organisation, providing US$845 million, or roughly 15 per cent of its budget, last year. According to the Times, the saga shows how the Trump administration backs corporations over the public good and how the Trump administration is disrupting the rules-based order.

The New York Times, meanwhile, published a piece that painted America as a bully.

"We need a government willing to counter misinformation from the baby food and formula industry, not one that caters to it".

The Americans also sought, unsuccessfully, to thwart a World Health Organization effort aimed at helping poor countries obtain access to lifesaving medicines.

The resolution at the World Health Assembly in Geneva in May was aimed at promoting breastfeeding.

The Department of Health and Human Services, which was the lead agency for the these negotiations, did not speak directly to the accusation of threats.

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

"The Trump Administration believes it's a public health priority that women and their families have all the information to decide how to appropriately deliver nutrition to their children, whether it is via breastfeeding or other methods", an HHS spokesman said.

The United States tried to stop a pro-breastfeeding resolution at the United Nations, but ultimately failed. In addition, universal breastfeeding could save $300 billion in reduced health care costs and improved economic prospects for children.

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