US Opposition of Breastfeeding Resolution Shocks Health Officials

Finally, it was Russia that stepped in to sponsor the resolution, who were not threatened by the bully tactics of the US, reports the New York Times:

“In the end, the United States was largely unsuccessful. The final resolution preserved most of the original wording, though American negotiators did get language removed that called on the W.H.O. to provide technical support to member states seeking to halt ‘inappropriate promotion of foods for infants and young children.'”

Interestingly, the $70 billion baby food industry (dominated by a few American and European companies), has had sales flatten in wealthy countries in recent years, as more women embrace breastfeeding. This shows how important our ongoing conversation about breastfeeding really is – not just for us in the wealthy countries, but for mothers and babies all around the world. How important it is to keep talking about it, educating women, and providing support to breastfeed.

Global sales are still expected to rise by 4 percent in 2018, according to Euromonitor, with most of that growth occurring in developing nations – hence why the US bully tactics over these nations is absolutely horrendous. The benefits of breastfeeding in developing nations are huge – the antibodies provided in breastmilk are not replicated in formula, and these are babies growing up surrounded by a lot of disease.

According to UNICEF, “Optimal breastfeeding of infants under two years of age has the greatest potential impact on child survival of all preventive interventions, with the potential to prevent over 800,000 deaths (13 per cent of all deaths) in children under five in the developing world (Lancet 2013).”

“Breastfed children have at least six times greater chance of survival in the early months than non-breastfed children.  An exclusively breastfed child is 14 times less likely to die in the first six months than a non-breastfed child, and breastfeeding drastically reduces deaths from acute respiratory infection and diarrhoea, two major child killers (Lancet 2008).”

Once more, the US is showing that their alliance is with big business, rather than with the health of the people in this world.

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