Judit Járai, correspondent of MTI means:
The United States tried to prevent the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) from adopting a decision that stressed the importance of breastfeeding in the spring in Geneva, “the American newspaper The New York Times reported on Monday.
The New York Times commented that the American standpoint coincided with the position of American baby food manufacturers.
According to the report, the US delegation has worked hard but failed to accept the WHO Assembly’s decision to base its position on the importance of breastfeeding on the basis of decades of scientific research, and also pointed out that individual countries should limit their inaccurate or misleading advertisements for breastmilk substitutes.
The US delegation wanted to exclude from the text of the resolution the phrase calling on governments to “protect, facilitate and support breastfeeding” and to abolish the paragraph that suggested policy makers to limit the advertising of nutrition .
When they did not succeed, US officials began to threaten the paper. The Times has said at least a dozen representatives from more countries, many of them explicitly asked for anonymity, keeping the US response. They said that the US delegation threatened, for example, with Ecuador: if it accepts the decision, it could count on economic punitive measures and the withdrawal of US military aid. The Ecuadorian delegation quickly adapted and did not support the decision.
According to the New York Times information from Uruguayan, Mexican and American officials, at least 12 countries – most of them poor African and Latin American states – abandoned support for the decision, fearing that the US would take retaliatory measures against it. The paper quoted Patti Rundallt, the director of the NGO, Baby Milk Action, who stated that “the United States wanted to blackmail the whole world, trying to kick off a nearly 40-year consensus on what the best way to protect the health of babies and young children” .
The decision was finally submitted by Russia. The United States did not threaten the Russians, but some changes were made in the text. The phrase calling on the World Health Organization to technically help countries that want to put an end to “inappropriate advertising for foods for babies and toddlers” supplemented it with the word “certain foods”.
The paper contacted the US health care ministry, where a spokesman said the original text of the decision “set up unnecessary barriers for mothers seeking food for their children”. The Foreign Ministry has removed the commentary, claiming that it does not comment on private diplomatic talks.