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[dupe] US tries to kill pro-breastfeeding policy (arstechnica.com)
54 points by staktrace 6 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 17 comments

The linked article basically restates the original NYTimes article, with less detail: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/08/health/world-health-breas...

... which was discussed on HN yesterday:


Ah, I missed the previous HN discussion. Sorry for the dupe!

The odd thing is, even after 10 minutes I can't find the WHO resolution in question, only lots of opinion articles. I mean I don't care if you want to breastfeed, anywhere anytime, just wanting the whole story here. Were they banning alternatives or something?

This long FB post [1] provides some additional details, as well as a counterpoint to most of the press coverage I've seen (which has been critical of the US's position/behavior).

I don't know enough about the subject to know whether the author of this post (who is much more politically connected than I) is correct, but at least he lays out more facts about what happened.

Most of the articles I'd previously read had one sentence of facts and the remainder was outrage. The outrage may be deserved, but one sentence of facts doesn't justify it.

1: https://www.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10156620358017...

I think it's "Item 12.6" on the agendas for the WHO assembly, so you can find lots of WHO group statements/reports regarding it but I can't find the text either.

Is it this one?

Agenda item 12.6 :


Maternal, infant and young child nutrition Safeguarding against possible conflicts of interest in nutrition programmes Draft approach for the prevention and management of conflicts of interest in the policy development and implementation of nutrition programmes at country level

Here are the resolutions:




I mean I hate to sound judgmental, but "that fewer than one in five infants are breastfed for 12 months in high-income countries; "

I've tried to encourage people to breastfeed, it isn't well received though.

"Acknowledging that achievement of the WHO global target to increase to at least 50% the proportion of infants under 6 months of age who are exclusively breastfed by 2025 requires sustainable and adequate technical and financial resources, and supportive and protective policy and regulatory interventions as well as political will, and that this needs to be part of broader efforts to strengthen health systems;"

Yah, definitely an attack on the "formula" industry, along with the conflict of interest verbiage, but the mothers I've talked to don't care or can't breastfeed anyway, get mad at them? We are gonna start telling women what to do with their bodies now?!?

I mean I get it, the benefits are very real to the kid, just wondering what politician has the cajones to tell women to start breastfeeding more.

It looks like it boils down to two things: the proponents say the misinformation on the part of the formula industry needs to be stopped, whereas the opponents claim such a regulation would stigmatize the women who can't breastfeed. Or don't want.

But when you think about it, what you give to the baby is pretty much a private thing. The main people who can "stigmatize" you will be your family, and they can do so for a variety of reasons, not just breastfeeding. I can't imagine a stranger on a street telling a woman she should breastfeed instead of giving the baby a bottle (which may contain her own milk btw). I can't imagine a husband telling such things to his wife. But the mother's mother, or mother-in-law - they could easily say so. So it essentially boils down to whether your family is supportive or not. Preventing Nestle from spreading misinformation is a completely different thing.

> I can't imagine a stranger on a street telling a woman she should breastfeed instead of giving the baby a bottle (which may contain her own milk btw). I can't imagine a husband telling such things to his wife.

You would be surprised at how many people suddenly have an opinion when you have a baby.

These people can be very quickly convinced to keep their opinions to themselves by a short word or two. Really, telling parents how to raise their child is a very delicate issue.

Breastfeeding is really hard at first, you are exhausted and overwhelmed, it takes frequent actual on the spot feedback from someone experienced to not risk giving up. Without committing the resources necessary, WHO words are just mean. IMHO the observed life outcome disadvantage of first borns is likely explained by this.

Could you please provide the backing facts (preferably good studies) for the statement about first born disadvantage due to less breast feeding or experience in it?

What’s with all the immature puns in the article trivializing the subject matter?

Nestle has its own page about WHO's International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes:


Basically, they say that this code is not a law so they don't follow it, but they have a different code, an internal one, and they stick to it.

"The Ecuadorian delegation, for instance, was expected to introduce the resolution but was weaned off the idea after the US threatened..."

Lol. Weaned.

Could you please not post unsubstantive comments to Hacker News?

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