Trumps weighs in on breastfeeding debate, defends formula

Bloomberg via Getty Images

Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. delegation attempted, unsuccessfully, to derail a resolution on the topic of breastfeeding at the World Health Organization's annual meeting in May, The New York Times reported over the weekend.

Vanity Fair said the US delegation's move was proof that it values "profits over health and bulls*** over facts", defining our representatives as "thugs".

According to the article, experts contend that breast milk is especially important for babies in less economically developed countries, where unsafe water supplies can make powdered baby formula risky.

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

"In settings where there is high poverty and weak public health infrastructure - for example that ensures clean water, sanitation, routine child immunizations - exclusively breastfeeding in the first six months of life is not only a primary source of food security for infants, it gives them immunological protection against infections and malnutrition", Palmquist said.

An HHS spokesperson added that the "resolution as originally drafted placed unnecessary hurdles for mothers seeking to provide nutrition to their children".

The resolution was eventually passed when Russian Federation sponsored another version that largely resisted US demands.

While the HHS department's reasoning independently makes sense, all mothers definitely can not breastfeed for various reasons, it should be noted the resolution did not make it necessary to do so.

"Many women are not able to breastfeed for a variety of reasons, these women should not be stigmatised; they should be equally supported with information and access to alternatives for the health of themselves and their babies". A 2016 study found that "the deaths of 823,000 children and 20,000 mothers each year could be averted through universal breastfeeding, along with economic savings of $300 billion [USD]". Formula makers have turned their attention to marketing their products in developing countries in recent years, as breastfeeding has grown more popular in wealthy nations.

These reports shocked physicians and public health advocates in the United States and around the world and stood in stark contrast to decades of infant and maternal research and guidelines. She said it wouldn't have denied women access to baby formula. The mother's environment can also affect the milk's composition, she said.

According to the New York Times, the US delegation wanted to water down the resolution in a bid to protect the interests of infant formula manufacturers on a global scale. Dr. Colleen A. Kraft, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, has said that "the decision to breastfeed is not a lifestyle choice, it's a critical decision for infant welfare". The main problem is that in countries where safe drinking water is hard to obtain, mixing dry formula with local water can provoke diarrhea or other illnesses that kill babies.

Breast milk can change to meet a child's needs.

Many American women agree, saying the cultural mandate to breastfeed no matter their personal circumstances and zealous hospital lactation programs is another example of how women's bodies are not their own to manage.

So, WHO started a resoultion to limit the inaccurate marketing formula and other substitutes as it is considered unhealthy for the babies.

Latest News