New York Times: US Opposition to Breastfeeding at World Forum

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization recommend breastfeeding for the first six months of life “to achieve optimal growth, development, and health.” US delegates defied longstanding research on infant nutrition at the UN-affiliated World Health Assembly in an attempt to weaken a breastfeeding resolution. “American officials sought to water down the resolution by removing language that called on governments to ‘protect, promote and support breast-feeding’ and another passage that called on policymakers to restrict the promotion of food products that many experts say can have deleterious effects on young children,” reports Andrew Jacobs for the New York Times. “When that failed, they turned to threats, according to diplomats and government officials who took part in the discussions.” US delegates threatened Ecuador, planning to introduce the resolution, with reduced military aid and trade. Russia instead introduced the resolution, with representatives expressing concern about a big country bullying small countries. The United States did not threaten Russia. US Health and Human Services offered a rationale that women who cannot breastfeed are stigmatized, and maintained the agency did not launch threats. The US health system stands out worldwide for its business model. Companies profit from warped incentives, bad habits and illness. – YaleGlobal

New York Times: US Opposition to Breastfeeding at World Forum

The US ignores decades of research on benefits, cost-savings of breastfeeding to battle World Health Assembly resolution; even formula makers are embarrassed
Andrew Jacobs
Sunday, July 8, 2018

US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar represented the United States at the World Health Assembly and offered opening remarks): "We should never be afraid of more information, more assistance, more cooperation," but experts do not agree with his stance on breastfeeding

Read the article from the New York Times about the United States battling a resolution on breastfeeding at the UN-affiliated World Health Assembly.


Andrew Jacobs, a reporter with the Health and Science desk of The Times based in New York, previously reported from Beijing and Brazil. He also worked as a Metro reporter, with stints at the Style section and the National desk, covering the American South. His reporting for The Times has included such varied topics as the presidential campaign, the aftermath of the earthquake in China and the lead up to the 2008 Summer Olympics. Wesley Tomaselli contributed reporting from Colombia.


Recommendations for Breastfeeding

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends:

  • Infants should be fed breast milk exclusively for the first 6 months after birth. Exclusive breastfeeding means that the infant does not receive any additional foods (except vitamin D) or fluids unless medically recommended.
  • After the first 6 months and until the infant is 1 year old, the AAP recommends that the mother continue breastfeeding while gradually introducing solid foods into the infant's diet.
  • After 1 year, breastfeeding can be continued if mutually desired by the mother and her infant.

The World Health Organization recommends:  

  • Infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months after birth to achieve optimal growth, development, and health.
  • After the first 6 months, to meet their evolving nutritional requirements, infants should receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods while breastfeeding continues for up to 2 years of age or beyond.
© 2018 The New York Times Company


Yet another example of the Trump administration siding with corporate interests on numerous public health and environmental issues. Heinous and unethical. I truly don't know how these people sleep at night. Our country is being held hostage by a rogue unhinged and bully faction of the Republican party that needs to be stopped. If we don't do something soon, no country in the world will want anything to do with us and sanctions will bring us to our knees. This is unacceptable. Big money is all they care about. SICKENING!

I just can't comprehend this. I am utterly embarrassed. My family has been in the US for hundreds of years. I work in public health and disaster recovery. This is something that is not up for debate.
The CDC has published a lot on breastfeeding benefits and the US Surgeon General. I'd provide a link but no HTML allowed. An internet search pulls up a lot. Breastfeeding is proven to be better for mom and baby IF mom is able to do so. We know that the culture exists to pressure moms if not breastfeeding but that obviously does not justify discouraging the healthier choice. Breastfeeding also makes disaster preparedness and recovery easier. Formula too is necessary to supplement if a woman needs it or provide for children whose mothers are not present.
I am embarrassed by my fellow Americans who are in the minority but currently hold the microphone and apologize to the world. I promise there are many of us in disbelief and fighting to make things right. Most of us, those who also work in the federal government, support evidence based science and compassion. We hope this uninformed and greed driven agenda by the people in power in the US will end soon.

The United States the United States Breastfeeding Committee has guidance on advocacy in their policy toolkit

I am so disappointed with this showing of U.S. "diplomacy." It is disgusting that they are basically demanding testing on human infants in order to support what is widely known and scientifically supported through other methods as true, BREAST is BEST.

Trump seems to consistently hire the worst people! The thought that it would be a good idea to convince women of modest means in third world countries to ignore the least expensive AND healthiest way to feed their babies. The idea that instead they would mix formula with water that could be contaminated. There are so many US citizens who are so ashamed of the people who are representing our country. Their values are not our values and they are doing untold damage to our country.

The first boycott against Nestle pushing formula over breastfeeding in poor countries began July 7, 1977. I have not knowingly eaten anything produced by Nestle since the mid-80s when I found out about this immoral practice. Babies die because the water used for the formula is not clean. They suffer malnutrition because their families can't afford to buy enough formula. I had no idea that this boycott has been restarted many times due to repeated efforts to eliminate breastfeeding. That the United Sates would bully poor countries and blackmail them is yet another example of corporate domination at the expense of people's health, even the health of babies. Contact Alex Azar