The United States threatened other nations during deliberations about a resolution to encourage breast feeding at the United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly this spring in Geneva.

The resolution says that mother’s milk is healthiest for children and countries should strive to limit the inaccurate or misleading marketing of breast milk substitutes. The U.S., which has championed the interests of infant formula manufactures, pushed to remove language asking governments to “protect, promote, and support breast-feeding,” according to The New York Times. They also took issue with a passage that called for policymakers to restrict the promotion of food products that may harm children.

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More than a dozen participants from various countries were threatened by the U.S. delegation, many of whom requested anonymity for fear of U.S. retaliation, according to The Times. American officials were so ardent in their opposition that they made serious threats to Ecuadorian delegates, who were going to introduce the resolution. U.S. officials said if Ecuador didn’t drop the proposal, “Washington would unleash punishing trade measures and withdraw crucial military aid.”


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President Donald Trump lashed out at the report in a tweet on Monday, saying the U.S. does support breastfeeding. Trump didn’t mentioned the threats in his tweet.

Trump has also expressed his revulsion at the act of breastfeeding. In a 2011 deposition, Trump reportedly became upset when attorney Elizabeth Beck requested a break to pump breast milk for her 3-month-old daughter. Beck told CNN in 2015 that Trump had called her “disgusting.” Trump’s lawyer, Allen Garten, didn’t dispute the assertion, and Trump acknowledged to CNN he “might have said that.”

He also called a 2012 Time magazine cover showing a mother breastfeeding her toddler “disgusting.”

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