Amongst other things, the resolution urges member states "to increase investment in development, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of laws, policies and programmes aimed at protection, promotion, including education and supportof breastfeeding" and "to end inappropriate promotion of foods for infants and young children".
Health and Human Services spokeswoman Caitlin Oakley also described as "patently false" attempts to portray the USA position as anti-breastfeeding. Women's health advocates, she said, have long promoted breastfeeding-and also supported women to choose the "option to do the best for them and their babies".
The United States is a nation where breastfeeding is now on the rise.
A spokesperson for the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) told the Times that US delegates objected to the resolution because it placed "unnecessary hurdles" in front of women who choose not to breastfeed, and "stigmatizes" formula-feeding-a claim physicians rejected on social media. Other nations didn't want to take it up afterwards, fearing "retaliation".
RUNDALL: Well, ever since the World Health Assembly recognized the importance of having a global resolution to - and a global guide - we call it the worldwide code of marketing - that's meant to help governments control the harmful marketing - that was adopted in 1981.
An Ecuadorian official said that his government did not anticipate the harshness of America's response. Ecuador had planned to introduce a resolution which encouraged breastfeeding - but they suddenly backed out, because the USA reportedly said it would impose damaging trade restrictions and cut military aid if it went through with the measure.
"The resolution as originally drafted placed unnecessary hurdles for mothers seeking to provide nutrition to their children", the spokesperson said.
At the same assembly, USA leaders sided with the pharmaceutical industry and fought unsuccessfully against an effort to help poor countries get access to lifesaving medications.
"The existence of infant formula is not in question here".
"A major risk of formula feeding in low-income settings is that the formula is available without the other safety precautions", Palmquist said. Such companies have lobbied to have their product included among in the essential recommendations given by hospitals or health care personnel to new mothers.
There were some signs even before the meeting in Geneva that there might be some pushback against the original resolution.
A proposal to promote breastfeeding was met with unexpected contention by American delegates at the World Health Assembly in May. Trade threats were not made by the Department of Health and Human Services, according to a spokesman.
"The formula industry is a multibillion-dollar industry", said Sullivan.
In 2014, the World Health Organization challenged the global community to raise by 2025 the number of babies who were exclusively breastfed during their first six months by 50 percent.
UNICEF and World Health Organization also recommend exclusive breastfeeding from within an hour of birth until the baby is 6 months old. But ever since the Clinton administration, there was sort of consensus on this, and you actually had the US softening their approach and just going along with things.