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Out of the millions of choices a mother makes every day, one debate has endured: breast-milk vs.formula.
But the United States delegation at the United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly got involved in a way almost no one expected.
Andrew Jacobs reports in the New York Times
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 breast-feeding” 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.
It was the Russians who ultimately stepped in to introduce the measure — and the Americans did not threaten them.
The president called this story fake on Twitter on July 9.
The failing NY Times Fake News story today about breast feeding must be called out. The U.S. strongly supports breast feeding but we don’t believe women should be denied access to formula. Many women need this option because of malnutrition and poverty.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2018
What’s behind these moves?
- David Dayen Contributing writer for the Los Angeles Times
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