US Opposes Breastfeeding at World Health Assembly

The United States didn’t just vote down a resolution in support of breastfeeding at the World Health Assembly earlier this year; when U.S. officials couldn’t get what they wanted, they took to bullying other countries, beginning with Ecuador.

Most expected a resolution stating that mother’s milk is best for children would quickly be passed by the numerous international government delegates who were attending the meeting in Geneva. But it didn’t work out that way, as the U.S. delegates instead chose to stand up for the financial interests of infant formula manufacturers.

The New York Times reports:

American officials sought to water down the resolution by removing language that called on governments to “protect, promote and support breast-feeding” and another passage that called on policymakers to restrict the promotion of food products that many experts say can have deleterious effects on young children.

According to several officials in attendance, once the American representatives were unsuccessful in changing this wording, they turned to threatening other countries. Ecuador had planned to introduce the breastfeeding resolution, so that country became the first target.

“The Americans were blunt: If Ecuador refused to drop the initiative, Washington would unleash punishing trade measures and withdraw crucial military aid. The Ecuadorean government quickly acquiesced,” states The New York Times.

Ultimately, the U.S. attempts to endanger mothers and infants were largely unsuccessful. Ironically, it was the Russians who introduced the resolution — and U.S. officials didn’t threaten them.

It’s hard to figure out which is worse: denying decades of research on the benefits of breastfeeding; acting as the big bully and attacking smaller countries; or Russia coming to the rescue.

“What happened was tantamount to blackmail, with the U.S. holding the world hostage and trying to overturn nearly 40 years of consensus on the best way to protect infant and young-child health,” said Patti Rundall, policy director of the British advocacy group Baby Milk Action.

Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world. When I gave birth to my son, it never occurred to me not to feed him with my milk — although some new moms have to use formula due to other health concerns.

“Breastmilk makes the world healthier, smarter and more equal,” stated an article published in the British medical journal “The Lancet,” as part of a series discussing the importance of breastfeeding in child development.

Decades of research have documented benefits to both mothers and infants, as well as also uncovered some of the dangers of breast milk substitutes.

A huge scandal erupted in the 1970s when Nestlé launched a campaign to get mothers in developing countries hooked on formula. Not only is formula less healthy and more expensive than breast milk, but it also proved deadly for numerous babies: Many mothers were mixing the formula with unclean water. Nestlé’s formula became known as “The Baby Killer,” and the U.S. Senate and the World Health Organization held hearings that led to new marketing rules for formula.

Both the WHO and the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommend that infants consume nothing but breast milk for the first six months of life.

The Trump administration is shameless. The president’s lackeys chose to ignore scientific facts to promote American corporate interests. They’re also misogynists, yet again taking away from women the right to control our own bodies. 

The Trump model also aims to isolate the U.S. from the rest of the world and drag us back into an age of ignorance: First climate change, then the Iran deal and NATO — and now breastfeeding.

Take Action!

If you find it shocking and cruel for American representatives to oppose breastfeeding, please sign my Care2 petition demanding that U.S. officials stop ignoring decades of research which prove conclusively that mother’s milk is best for children.

Creating a Care2 petition is easy. If you have an issue you care deeply about, why not start your own petition? Here are some guidelines to help you get started and soon the Care2 community will be signing up to support you.

 

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

100 comments

Marie W
Marie W1 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Chad Anderson
Chad Anderson6 months ago

Signed.

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Catrin S

The US has reverted to the dark ages.

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Janis K
Janis K7 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Tania N
Tania N7 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Tania N
Tania N7 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Tania N
Tania N7 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Olga Nycz-Shirley
Olga Nycz-Shirely7 months ago

Signed petition...

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Paulo R
Paulo R7 months ago

petition signed, ty

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Amanda M
Amanda M7 months ago

Ann B, human breasts are simply UDDERS, designed for the purpose of feeding our babies. There is NOTHING pornographic or obscene about a mom feeding her baby the way Nature intended for her to do. Furthermore, did it ever occur to you that babies don't LIKE to have a blanket over their faces when eating? It's hot, it's hard to breathe under there, and it's a distraction from getting Mum's milk. Plenty of nursing moms can tell you that their babies would pull the blanket right off or make a huge stink about it until Mom got rid of the blanket. Besides, there's NOTHING TO SEE. Once the baby is "plugged in," Mom's covered. Best of all, human milk is full of nutrients and Mom's antibodies, so the baby gets an immunity boost as well as food, and it's always ready, served at the right temperature, you don't have to worry about it making the baby sick like contaminated water for formula can, and it's FREE besides. Try getting all THAT from formula! If you don't like the sight of a baby nursing, then JUST DON'T LOOK!

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