Trump says US had opposed formula limits, not breastfeeding

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The administration also denied that USA officials had threatened trade sanctions in the debate over the breastfeeding resolution.

'The failing NY Times Fake News story today about breast feeding must be called out. However, the US 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". Some delegates even reportedly threatened to cut its contribution to the World Health Organization.

The resolution simply put forth that mother's milk is the healthiest option for infants and that countries should work to limit any misleading or inaccurate advertising by makers of breast-milk substitutes.

American officials sought to water down the resolution....

The report also noted the dilution ration must be correct or babies will suffer from malnutrition and the bottles must be adequately cleaned.

The Ecuadorian delegation, for instance, was expected to introduce the resolution but was weaned off the idea after the United States threatened to impose harmful trade measures and withdraw military assistance-which the United States is providing in the northern part of the country to help address violence spilling over the border from Colombia.

Ecuador capitulated and did as the Americans demanded, The Times reported.

The intensity of USA opposition to the measure shocked public health officials and diplomats, marked a stark contrast from the Obama administration's support of the World Health Organization (WHO)'s position on breast-feeding.

The U.S. then continued around the table, targeting at least a dozen, mostly underdeveloped countries in Latin America and Africa, who backed off fearing retaliation, according to delegates from Mexico, Uruguay and the U.S.

Elisabeth Sterken of the Infant Feeding Action Coalition in Canada says she was among the official observers in Geneva when a US delegation took issue with various proposals that included marketing restrictions on breast milk substitutes. "What happened was tantamount to blackmail, with the US holding the world hostage and trying to overturn almost 40 years of consensus on best way to protect infant and young child health".

But more than a dozen participants from several countries-most requesting anonymity out of fear of U.S. retaliation-told the Times that the American officials surprised health experts and fellow delegates alike by fiercely opposing the resolution. At the same meeting, they fought measures against the junk food and sugary beverage industries.

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

"The resolution as originally drafted placed unnecessary hurdles for mothers seeking to provide nutrition to their children", an HHS spokesman said in the email to the Times.

"We recognize not all women are able to breastfeed for a variety of reasons". It added that "not all women are able to breastfeed", and they "should have the choice and access to alternatives".

The State Department would not answer the Times' questions.

Research has shown that mother's milk contains far more nutrients that are necessary for a baby's health than infant formula.

Limiting inaccurate infant formula marketing is most necessary in some of the poorest parts of the world, according to a Guardian investigation published earlier this year in partnership with the global nongovernmental organization Save the Children.

US opposition to the resolution ended, however, when Russian Federation introduced the measure.

"We were shocked because we didn't understand how such a small matter like breast-feeding could provoke such a dramatic response", said the Ecuadorean official, speaking with a requirement of anonymity.

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