The resolution was ultimately approved even in the face of USA opposition, but the Trump administration successfully stripped out language that called for the World Health Organization to support nations working to crack down on "inappropriate promotion of foods for infants and young children".
Ecuador was the country that initially planned to introduce the resolution - until it suddenly backed out. The resolution simply put forth that mother's milk is the healthiest option for infants and that countries should work to limit any misleading or inaccurate advertising by makers of breast-milk substitutes. The delegates opposed governmental support for breastfeeding, as well as restrictions on "food products that many experts say can have deleterious effects on young children". "At what point do they start laughing at us as a country?" So when United States representatives launched their surprise attack, the world could only read it as open support for the $70 billion formula industry, whose sales have been tapering off. The companies denied any wrongdoing.
The move reflected the USA government's championing of the $US70 billion ($94 billion) baby formula industry - mainly based in the U.S. and Europe. When that largely failed, the USA turned to threats-demanding that Ecuador's delegation refrain from introducing the bill as planned or be targeted with trade measures and cuts to military aid, the Times reports. "It was supposed to go to the floor, and then Ecuador pulled it and it was very confusing", said Zehner, adding that other countries were approached about putting it forward but refused, apparently because they were scared.
Eventually, the resolution was introduced by Russian Federation and subsequently approved.
"What happened was tantamount to blackmail, with the US 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. Other nations didn't want to take it up afterwards, fearing "retaliation".
The assault on the baby, the bathwater and everything else was so savage that the US Department of Health and Human Services, which had sought to edit down the resolution, clarified that it did not use threats.More news: Tropical Depression develops in the Atlantic
When this failed, the Times reported that USA delegates turned to threats.
In the end, the US's effort to dash the World Health Organization resolution encouraging breastfeeding was largely unsuccessful.
World Health Organization has long supported breastfeeding, and years of research has found breast milk to be healthier than other substitutes. Among the myriad issues discussed at these annual meetings are policies and initiatives related to infant nutrition, breastfeeding, and breast milk substitutes, topics that gained prominence in the Assembly in the 1980s. "We were astonished, appalled and also saddened", Patti Rundall, the policy director of the British advocacy group Baby Milk Action told The Times of the United States' actions.
The New York Times alleges the USA attempted to browbeat others countries into dropping the resolution.
According to 2016 Lancet study cited in the Times report, universal breastfeeding would prevent 800,000 child deaths across the world every year, as well as yield $300 billion in savings from reduced health care costs.