The U.S. Blocked A Global Breastfeeding Initiative

The U.S. Blocked A Global Breastfeeding Initiative In Order To Benefit Formula Companies

Photo by Leo Ramirez/AFP/Getty Images.

UNIVERSAL BREASTFEEDING COULD PREVENT 800,000 CHILD DEATHS per year around the world, and would produce $300 billion in savings from reduced health care costs, according to a 2016 study by the peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet.

But despite the numerous studies that suggest the benefits of breastfeeding, especially in poor and developing countries, the U.S. government recently refused to support a World Health Organization initiative to promote breastfeeding.

In a startling New York Times report, officials from other countries have spoken out about how the U.S. threatened them if they did not change the way they promoted breastfeeding to its citizens. The U.S. also wanted to see an increase in pushing infant formulas to mothers.

The uproar by the U.S. began in spring after the World Health Assembly presented a resolution in Geneva, Switzerland. The resolution by the U.N.-backed group asked that government officials promote and support breastfeeding and curb “misleading marketing of breast milk substitute,” along with adding restrictions in how they market other food products that could have negative effects on children, according to Times report.

The U.S. asked to remove the passage that would hold companies accountable for misleading claims about infant food products with spurious health benefits. The move was thought to be influenced by large corporations who produce infant formula. The U.S. has the second biggest market for infant food sales, after China. Breastfeeding rates have increased in the U.S. lately, which is a threat to formula companies.

But officials didn’t respond to the American government’s demands, so U.S. representatives resorted to blackmail-like tactics.

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