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Editorial, Opinion Piece Discuss U.S. Attempt To Amend WHA Resolution Supporting Breastfeeding

Star Tribune: U.S. was wrong to block the U.N. resolution on breastfeeding.
Editorial Board

“The U.S. has become a bully on the world stage over, of all things, breastfeeding. In a development that shocked many, the U.S. delegation to the World Health Assembly attempted to shut down what should have been a relatively benign resolution to ‘protect, promote, and support’ the practice of breastfeeding. Why would the U.S. do such a thing? Unfortunately, the apparent answer is as simple as it is crass. Instead of standing up for the health of babies and children around the world, this country’s delegation stood up for the interests of corporate manufacturers of infant formula. … The U.S. government … has — or should have — broader concerns that factor in its responsibility to uphold its role as a leader in global health. … The world’s multilateral organizations are under continued assault by this administration, and each blow struck diminishes this nation’s claim to world leadership a little more” (7/12).

CNN: Stop fighting about breastfeeding and face this reality
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, adjunct senior fellow for women and foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations

“…How about putting the attention where it belongs, on what mothers need and want rather than what global institutions and international governments decide? Breastfeeding education is critically important, but if there is a silver lining to be found in the uproar regarding the WHO and America’s position concerning the push to promote breastfeeding, it is this: what better time could there be to look closely at the broader policies on breastfeeding education and what they mean for women’s lives on the ground in the toughest places and in the most difficult moments? … Those on the ground, not in Geneva, should be able to best decide how to help those in need. And while breastfeeding is both important and praiseworthy, at some point women, too, get a say in how to feed their children. Aid workers have seen it firsthand and mothers know it. And instead of getting caught up in the geopolitics of it all, the rest of us could — and should — use this moment to really consider how best to help women in some of the world’s most challenging places. On their terms, and reflecting their realities, not only ours” (7/11).

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