Trump admin opposed resolution that promotes breastfeeding

Bloomberg via Getty Images

"PETA's billboard pays tribute to breastfeeding and urges parents to stay away from formulas made with the milk of mother cows pining for their babies, who were denied the nourishment meant for them".

In 1981, following controversy over Nestlé's aggressive marketing of infant formula, the World Health Assembly adopted the "International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes" aimed at limiting the inappropriate marketing or promotion of breast milk substitutes, which health officials fear are an inadequate replacement for breast milk and can serve to encourage mothers to stop breastfeeding.

A 2016 study published in The Lancet and cited by the NYT's Jacobs 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".

But, at a gathering in Geneva this spring, the US made a forceful case to defend the interests of manufacturers of breast milk substitutes.

Maggie Haberman, a White House reporter for the Times, isn't buying it. "That pro-business, anti-public-health agenda has certainly come back". "It simply reflects the fact that corporate sales are more important to the USA administration than the well-being of women and children", said Cesar Victora, a specialist in child health and nutrition in Brazil. "The formula [served] as a vector for bad water".

As we've seen in the debates over abortion or plastic surgery or pregnancy nutrition, everyone has an opinion about what women should and should not do with their bodies-even if they don't inhabit a female body themselves.

World Health Organization has long supported breastfeeding, and years of research has found breast milk to be healthier than other substitutes. Milk from a mother to a child is also nutritionally specific.

Starbucks to stop using plastic straws by 2020
Straws add up to about 2,000 tons of the almost 9 million tons of plastic waste that ends up in waters around the globe each year. For users who still want their drinks with a straw, the company said paper or biodegradable plastic will be available by request.

As part of global nutrition targets, countries who are part of the World Health Organization have vowed to increase rates of exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life to at least 50 percent of mothers by 2025.

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 USA delegates.

The retail value of the global baby food and infant formula market reached $50 billion a year ago, and it's projected to climb to $69 billion by 2023, according to a recent study from market research firm IMARC Group. Over all, global sales are expected to rise by 4 percent in 2018, according to Euromonitor, with most of that growth occurring in developing nations.

The baby formula companies are predominately American or European, including Nestle and Mead Johnson. Taking a break from being an all-purpose bogeyman, Russia, we're told, saved the day and the United States was thwarted.

However, as the New York Times' resident Trump Whisperer Maggie Haberman highlighted, while "calling out" the report, Trump actually confirmed its contents. Abbott, Mead Johnson, and Nestlé all have robust Washington, DC. lobbying operations. Abbott reported that it had lobbied Congress on "Proposals regarding infant nutrition marketing".

Those risks include creating the formula precisely as instructed, storing it safely and cleaning and sanitizing bottles so the infant doesn't get sick.

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