Trump blasts 'fake' NYT story on United States opposition to breastfeeding measure

Breastfeeding basics for mom and baby

President Trump on Monday blasted the "failing NY Times" for reporting that his administration opposed a pro-breastfeeding measure at the United Nations -tied World Health Assembly, claiming the problem was the resolution's limits on promoting formula.

US officials fought to remove phrases calling for governments to "protect, promote and support breastfeeding" and a section calling on lawmakers to tighten regulations on the promotion of products that experts say have harmful effects on children.

Trump argues his administration supports breastfeeding but also wants women to have access to formula.

Earlier this year, countries sent diplomats to Geneva for a meeting of the World Health Organization, the UN-affiliated organization.

When contacted for a comment, the Department of Health and Human Services said the USA stance was in support of mothers who can not breast-feed for various reasons. Many women need this option because of malnutrition and poverty, ' he wrote on Twitter on Monday.

The US delegation threatened retribution on trade and military aid to Ecuador to get the nation to drop the resolution, according to the Times, and said at least a dozen countries also avoided the resolution out of fear of the US.

Patti Rundall, the policy director of the British advocacy group Baby Milk Action, said she was "appalled and also saddened" by the US government's alleged threats.

The resolution as originally drafted placed unnecessary hurdles for mothers seeking to provide nutrition to their children.

An Ecuadorian official said that his government did not anticipate the harshness of America's response.

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Met with resistance from nations around the table, USA delegates began threatening, according to other officials at the summit.

Though high quality, safely prepared substitutes can provide adequate nutrition for infants, emphasis on breastfeeding stretches back through decades of concern from health experts and officials that milk-substitute makers were causing harm with their marketing strategies.

The State Department declined to respond to questions, saying it could not discuss private diplomatic conversations.

HHS spokeswoman Caitlin Oakley said in a statement responding to the account of the resolution that the U.S. "has a long history of supporting mothers and breastfeeding around the world and is the largest bilateral donor of such foreign assistance programs".

A Chinese mother breastfeeds her baby in Wuhan.

'We recognize not all women are able to breastfeed for a variety of reasons. Their sales have increased, however, in developing countries.

News of the combative approach within the World Health Assembly mirrored the Trump administration's posture toward other key global bodies. "At what point do they start laughing at us as a country?"

According to the report, the delegation fought against elements in the resolution that would have demanded member states "protect, promote and support breast-feeding" and restrict potentially risky infant foods.

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