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U.S. Actions To Weaken World Health Assembly Resolution On Breastfeeding Turned To Threats, Diplomats, Officials Say

New York Times: U.S. Opposition to Breastfeeding Resolution Stuns World Health Officials
“A resolution to encourage breastfeeding was expected to be approved quickly and easily by the hundreds of government delegates who gathered this spring in Geneva for the United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly. … Then the United States delegation, embracing the interests of infant formula manufacturers, upended the deliberations. American officials sought to water down the resolution by removing language that called on governments to ‘protect, promote, and support breastfeeding’ 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. When that failed, they turned to threats, according to diplomats and government officials who took part in the discussions. Ecuador, which had planned to introduce the measure, was the first to find itself in the cross hairs. The Americans were blunt: If Ecuador refused to drop the resolution, Washington would unleash punishing trade measures and withdraw crucial military aid. The Ecuadorean government quickly acquiesced…” (Jacobs/Tomaselli, 7/8).

Additional coverage of the New York Times story is available from Axios, CNN, Forbes, The Hill, HuffPost, Newsweek, Slate, USA TODAY, and Vox.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.