As US President Donald Trump's administration officials opposed a breastfeeding resolution of the World Health Organisation (WHO), actress Pamela Anderson on behalf of PETA wrote a letter to United Nations stating the importance of breastfeeding for newborns. But delegates instead threatened retaliatory trade measures on Ecuador if they refused to drop the resolution, according to the report.
A Russian delegate introduced the breast-feeding resolution, calling it a matter of principle.
According to a Sunday New York Times scoop, the President Donald Trump's delegation to the United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly recently bullied smaller, less wealthy nations in an ultimately failed effort to crush a resolution urging mothers to breastfeed infants.
The State Department official said the United States works "to identify common cause when possible and does not shy away from expressing its disagreement when necessary". "They should be equally supported with information and access to alternatives for the health of themselves and their babies".
A common argument promoted by the breast milk substitute industry frames the issue as one of access and choice.
Representatives from Nestlé, Abbott, Mead Johnson and Wyeth (now owned by Nestlé) were described as a constant presence in hospitals in the Philippines, where only 34% of mothers exclusively breastfeed in the first six months.
The main concern isn't whether breastfeeding should be supplemented with formula, but what happens when formula becomes a substitute for breast milk entirely.
Shonn Brown, a Dallas attorney who has worked in employment law, says most employers already have policies on breastfeeding.
According to a 2016 study, a worldwide embrace of breastfeeding would prevent some 800,000 child deaths every year, and produce $300 billion in health care savings and global productivity.
A Department of Health and Human Services spokesman told the Times the initial version of the resolution "placed unnecessary hurdles for mothers seeking to provide nutrition for their children". When Ecuador backed off - after all, no small country likes to be in Washington's gun sights - the US threatened any other country that might want to introduce it.
It remains puzzling as to why the liberal media blame USA protections of formula companies, as even The Times had to note: "Although lobbyists from the baby food industry attended the meetings in Geneva, health advocates said they saw no direct evidence that they played a role in Washington's strong-arm tactics". However, a spokesperson did indicate that the US had differences of opinion with other countries about the original text.
Those risks include creating the formula precisely as instructed, storing it safely and cleaning and sanitizing bottles so the infant doesn't get sick.
An aggressive effort by USA officials to weaken an worldwide resolution to promote breastfeeding this year is the latest example of the government taking an industry's side in global public health, advocates said.