Trump blasts 'fake' NYT story on U.S. opposition to breastfeeding measure


But the US insisted on removing language calling on the World Health Organization to offer technical support to officials trying to stop "inappropriate promotion of foods for infants and young children", according to the Times.

The intensity of USA opposition to the measure shocked public health officials and diplomats, marked a stark contrast from the Obama administration's support of the World Health Organization (WHO)'s position on breast-feeding.

At the same World Health Assembly meeting, according to the Times, U.S. officials also removed suggestions of introducing a soda tax from a document advising countries on fighting high rates of obesity. Sales in the industry have been flat in wealthy countries in recent years, as more women embrace breast-feeding, although global sales are expected to rise by four percent in 2018.

The Times reported that the United States delegation embraced the interests of infant-formula manufacturers.

Patti Randall - who, as policy director of the British advocacy group Baby Milk Action, has attended meetings of the assembly - said the group was "astonished", "appalled" and "saddened" by the behavior of the US delegates.

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A spokesman from the US Department of Health and Human Services told the Times that the original resolution "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.

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

The State Department would not answer the Times' questions.

In the end, the US's effort to dash the World Health Organization resolution encouraging breastfeeding was largely unsuccessful.

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Mothers breastfeeding their children. "Many women are not able to breastfeed for a variety of reasons, these women should not be stigmatized; they should be equally supported with information and access to alternatives for the health of themselves and their babies", Caitlin Oakley said in a statement to The Hill.

On social media, some pointed to the report as the latest evidence of the Trump administration's top priority-serving corporate interests, even at the expense of public health.

A Russian diplomat told the Times that his country's decision to advance the breastfeeding resolution was an easy one to make.

The resolution also called on world governments to crack down on marketing which says that substitute baby formulas are better and to 'protect, promote, and support breastfeeding'.

Ilona Kickbusch, director of the Global Health Centre at the Graduate Institute of worldwide and Development Studies in Geneva, said there was a growing fear that the Trump administration could cause lasting damage to worldwide health institutions like the WHO that have been vital in containing epidemics like Ebola and the rising death toll from diabetes and cardiovascular disease in the developing world.

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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 unsafe infant foods.