Trump Administration Draws Criticism for Opposing Breastfeeding Resolution

Trump Administration Draws Criticism for Opposing Breastfeeding Resolution

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Sign up By , Christian Post Contributor | Jul 9, 2018 12:49 PM (PHOTO: REUTERS/MATHIEU BELANGER)A woman (R) breastfeeds her baby while another one bottle-feeds another, during the Defi Allaitement (Breastfeeding Challenge) in Quebec City, on Sept. 24, 2011.

Reports that the Trump administration aggressively opposed an international resolution at the U.N.-affiliated World Health Assembly that sought to encourage breastfeeding as opposed to formula milk as a substitute is drawing severe criticism — though it was eventually passed with U.S. support.

Hundreds of government delegates met this spring in Geneva for the World Health Assembly and the Trump administration pushed to remove clauses that called on governments to “protect, promote, and support breast-feeding” and not allow promotion of formula milk, according to .

The infant formula industry is worth around $70 billion.

The U.S. delegation went to the extent of threatening Ecuador with punitive trade measures and withdrawal of military aid, to pressure that country to pull out its support for the resolution, the Times reported.

Robert George, a conservative Catholic law professor at Princeton University, reacted to the reports, and , “Breastfeeding is not for all moms, but where possible it‘s best for baby. The U.S. should not be on the wrong side of this issue in international forums. The interests of baby formula manufacturers should not be placed ahead of those of moms and infants.”

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Lucy Sullivan, executive director of 1,000 Days, an international group committed to improving nutrition for babies and infants, wrote, “As with other health policy battles, it comes down to public health vs. private profit. What is at stake: breastfeeding saves women and children‘s lives. It is also bad for the multibillion-dollar global infant formula [and dairy] business.”

Patti Rundall of the U.K.-based campaign Baby Milk Action was quoted as saying, “What happened was tantamount to blackmail, with the US holding the world hostage and trying to overturn nearly 40 years of consensus on best way to protect infant and young child health.” 

The resolution was later passed with the support of the United States after Russia reintroduced it with a modified text.

Research suggests that breastfeeding has many health benefits for both infants and mothers.

According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development,  offers nutritionally balanced meals, some protection against common childhood infections, and better survival during a baby‘s first year, including a lower risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

NICHD adds that the very early skin-to-skin and suckling may have physical and emotional benefits, according to research. “Other studies suggest that breastfeeding may reduce the risk for certain allergic diseases, asthma, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. It also may help improve an infant‘s cognitive development. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings.”

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