The US delegation worked hard, but largely unsuccessfully, to water down a resolution recognizing the importance of breastfeeding for infants and working against misleading attempts to sell substitutes for a mother's milk, the Times reported, citing more than a dozen participants from various countries, many of whom requested anonymity for fear of US retaliation.
President Trump rejected accusations on Monday from a New York Times report that said the US worked against a breastfeeding amendment at the World Health Assembly. At the same Assembly, U.S. Representatives "succeeded in removing statements supporting soda taxes from a document that advises countries grappling with soaring rates of obesity". "Many women need this option because of malnutrition and poverty", Trump tweeted Monday.
"What happened was tantamount to blackmail, with the USA holding the world hostage and trying to overturn almost 40 years of consensus on [the] best way to protect infant and your child health", Randall said. 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.
"What happened was tantamount to blackmail, with the USA holding the world hostage and trying to overturn almost 40 years of consensus on best way to protect infant and young child health", The New York Times quoted her as saying.
When contacted for a comment, the Department of Health and Human Services said the USA stance was in support of mothers who can not breast-feed for various reasons.
"The resolution as originally drafted placed unnecessary hurdles for mothers seeking to provide nutrition to their children", an HHS spokesperson told the Times. "These women should have the choice and access to alternatives for the health of their babies, and not be stigmatized for the ways in which they are able to do so".
However, as the New York Times' resident Trump Whisperer Maggie Haberman highlighted, while "calling out" the report, Trump actually confirmed its contents.
The State Department would not answer the Times' questions.
An Ecuadorian official said that his government did not anticipate the harshness of America's response.
American officials only agreed to the resolution in Geneva when Russian Federation threw its support behind the resolution. At the same meeting, they fought measures against the junk food and sugary beverage industries.
Starting infants out on a substitute in a maternity ward can make breastfeeding more hard for mothers later.
The intensity of US 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. Their sales have increased, however, in developing countries.