News Headlines Article

U.S. effort to weaken an international breast-feeding resolution has a long history
Washington Post

An aggressive effort by U.S. officials to weaken an international resolution to promote breast-feeding this year is the latest example of the government taking an industry’s side in global public health, advocates said.

This spring, U.S. officials threatened negative trade consequences for Ecuador if the country introduced a resolution to the World Health Assembly to encourage breast-feeding, according to a person familiar with the negotiations who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak candidly.  That person said there had been significant lobbying of U.S. representatives in Switzerland by the infant-formula industry over the issue. Ecuador’s Ministry of Health did not reply to a request for comment.

The story, first reported by the New York Times, has outraged public-health advocates because it flouts decades of public-health wisdom about the benefits of breast-feeding.