The Trump administration has yet again placed corporate interest higher on the totem pole than health concerns.
Back in March, the U.S. pushed heavily again junk food and soft drink warning labels, which would strive to prevent obesity. Rather than tackle one of the U.S. major epidemics, the Trump administration chose to stay on the side of big business.
Similarly, they fought hard against a World Health Organization effort to help poor countries obtain medicines. For a long while, the U.S has fought against increasing access to medication in the developing world in the interest of big pharmaceutical companies.
Now, the U.S. is fighting against a resolution brought up at the World Health Organization Assembly to promote breast-feeding as the healthiest options for infants, and to restrict the way companies market formula.
According to Dartmoth-Hitchcock, replacing breast-feeding with formula feeding can cause health risks. Just one feeding of formula can actually alter infants’ regular intestinal bacteria. Health conditions including ear infections, asthma, diabetes, eczema, lung infections, and obesity can also stem from formula feeding.
Their main issue with the resolution was the language. For one, they had a problem with some of the passages including the phrase “protect, promote, and support breast feeding,” and the portion including the detailed explanation of the negative health effects that come with formula.
Ecuador did back down, and multiple other countries decided not to take a hard stance for fear of U.S retaliation. Though some made anonymous pleas, the U.S. didn’t back down until Russia stepped in to advocate for the resolution.
“What happened was tantamount to blackmail,” said policy director of Baby Milk Action, a British advocacy group,“with the U.S. holding the world hostage and trying to overturn nearly 40 years of consensus on the best way to protect infant and young child health.”