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

US turned to threats to fight breast-feeding resolution report

He suggested the reporting was false, but then said: "The U.S. strongly supports breastfeeding but we don't believe women should be denied access to formula".

The U.S. failed in its effort. Four decades of research have shown that breast milk is more beneficial for infants that formula.

Despite all that data, the US has consistently lagged behind most high-income countries on both breastfeeding rates (only about half of American women are still breastfeeding at six months, as is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics) and the policies that help increase them, like paid maternity leave.

In an email to the Times, the Department of Health and Human Services, which led the charge to make the modifications, said the original resolution "placed unnecessary hurdles for mothers seeking to provide nutrition to their children".

But the Russian delegation eventually stepped in and introduced the measure without any threats from the American officials, the Times reports. Breastfeeding also benefits mothers, with a staggering impact in reducing likelihood of breast cancer. "We recognize not all women are able to breast-feed for a variety of reasons". In addition, universal breastfeeding could save $300 billion in reduced health care costs and improved economic prospects for children. "Many women need this option because of malnutrition and poverty", Trump tweeted.

Oakley said, "The issues being debated were not about whether one supports breastfeeding". "We don't want other leaders and other countries laughing at us anymore".

The US State Department has refused to comment on the report. Jacobs chalks up the U.S.'s alleged actions to its support of infant formula manufacturers. The mother's environment can also affect the milk's composition, she said.

According to the Times, the USA delegation threatened retribution on trade and military aid to Ecuador to get the nation to drop the resolution and at least a dozen countries also avoided the resolution out of fear of the US.

American officials allegedly sought to remove the language pushing for global government support of breastfeeding practices and attacked countries that were in favour of it. 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.

Shonn Brown, a Dallas attorney who has worked in employment law, says most employers already have policies on breastfeeding.

Lactation is tricky terrain, particularly for women in the workplace, who must find the time and space to pump breast milk with certain frequency or risk their supply drying up.

The U.S. leaders fought unsuccessfully to deprive poor countries access to life-saving medication and were able to get statements supporting the removal of soda taxes from guidelines of the countries struggling with increasing obesity rates. Thereafter, nutritious complementary foods should be added to a child's diet while continuing to breastfeed for up to 2 years or beyond.

Although the USA and many other countries promote a "breast is best" policy, many mothers are unable to breastfeed for a variety of reasons like medical challenges, insufficient maternity leave, or inability to afford time away from work often required for exclusive breastfeeding.

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