US opposition to breastfeeding reportedly stuns world health officials
Jie Zhao | Corbis | Getty Images
A newborn baby is fed milk in a hospital in Huaibei, Anhui province, China.
The U.S. government reportedly threatened Ecuador with trade sanctions if it didn’t water down a resolution drafted to promote breastfeeding around the world.
The resolution had been expected to pass without issue at the United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly in May, according to The New York Times. Then, without warning, the U.S. delegation requested that language asking governments to “protect, promote and support breastfeeding” was removed.
After that request was refused, the U.S. delegation stated that if Ecuador refused to drop the resolution, Washington would enforce trade measures and withdraw military aid from the country, a move that reportedly shocked health officials.
The New York Times claimed that Washington’s actions showed that the U.S. government was acting on behalf of infant formula manufacturers who were reportedly in attendance at the event.
Ultimately, the Russian delegation stepped in to adopt and sponsor the measure, forcing the American representatives to back down.
Read the New York Times report on the breastfeeding resolution here.