Sunday 5th of July 2020

all natural breakfast saved by the russians...


A Russian delegation stepped in to right a wrong perpetrated by the Trump administration, as UN and WHO officials offered no resistance to US demands supporting big business at the expense of infant health.

In a stunning confrontation noted to be another example of support by the administration of US President Donald Trump for corporate interests on environmental and public health issues, US officials demanded that UN health branch WHA — the governing body for the World Health Organization (WHO) — shelve a resolution that would encourage worldwide educational programs supporting the use of breastmilk to encourage healthy babies.

During the World Health Assembly (WHA) conference in Geneva in May, US officials pressured Ecuador to drop its introduction of a simple global resolution that would encourage breastfeeding — a practice known to provide vastly superior health benefits to infants.

Many noted that the incomprehensible demand by the Trump administration to downplay the importance of a mother's breast-milk for their infant child mirrored the policy platforms of infant formula manufacturers, including Switzerland's Nestlé and America's Abbot Laboratories.

Ecuador, faced with threats from US Ambassador Todd C. Chapman that Washington would withdraw American military assets currently deployed as a defense against violence-wracked regions bordering Colombia, balked at introducing the healthy baby resolution at the Geneva conference.

That was when Russia stepped in.

In reintroducing the WHA global resolution to support breastfeeding, the Russian delegation — as a matter of principle — sought to right a wrong, according to the New York Times.

"We're not trying to be a hero here," stated a Russian WHA delegate who asked to remain anonymous to avoid political and professional repercussions.

"We feel that it is wrong when a big country tries to push around some very small countries, especially on an issue that is really important for the rest of the world," pointed out the Russian delegate, cited by

The amount of fight put up by the US representatives of the Trump administration against an initiative for healthy babies shocked global health officials.

"We were astonished, appalled and also saddened," noted UK advocacy group Baby Milk Action policy director Patti Rundall, a member of the WHA decision-making body since the late 1980s.

"What happened was tantamount to blackmail, with the US holding the world hostage and trying to overturn nearly 40 years of consensus on best way to protect infant and young child health," Rundall detailed.

Although US officials tried first to water down the healthy baby resolution — one that simply asks governments to "protect, promote and support breastfeeding" — and then tried coercion, including threats of punishing trade sanctions and the withdrawal of crucial military aid, Washington was ultimately unsuccessful in its hardball tactics, according to over a dozen delegates representing several countries who were present for the Geneva WHA showdown, according to

In appearing to place high profit margins for multinational corporations above common-sense health science, the US delegation has echoed the kind of my-way-or-the-highway negotiation tactic favored by the Trump administration, throwing longstanding international alliances and legacy policies into turmoil in multilateral partnerships ranging from the 2016 Paris climate accords, to the 2015 JCPOA Iran nuclear deal, to participation in high-profile human rights organizations and economic unions.

The Global Health Centre at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva director, Ilona Kickbusch, noted a growing suspicion that Trump could deeply damage international health institutions like WHO and the United Nations, even as those organizations work to contain global epidemics including Ebola, diabetes and cardiovascular-related diseases on the rise in the developing world.

"It's making everyone very nervous," observed Kickbusch.

"If you can't agree on health multilateralism, what kind of multilateralism can you agree on?"

Made up of health ministers from its 194 member states, the World Health Association (WHA) is the governing body of the World Health Organization (WHO) and is the highest health policy organization in the world.


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on the corporate teat...


"We don’t know for sure that Mary was a breastfeeding mother, but it seems a reasonable inference."


Looking at the 34,509 pictures* of Mary breastfeeding in old churches in Europe, we even can suspect that Eve breastfed Abel and Cain as well. 


It's nature at work. Evolution made us mammalians... We are mammals. But according to the American regime we should be fed by corporate teats that comes in tins and plastic buckets, nothing else... It's a ploy to invade the brains of your kids with cows early in life...


*I made this number up, but counting the numbers of churches (over 400,000) in Europe, we should assume that there would not be less than 34,509 pictures of Breasfeeding Mary...

shocked health-policy advocates...

It was an issue over which a strong show of American exceptionalism wasn’t exactly expected: breast milk.

According to a recent report from The New York Times’ Andrew Jacobs, American officials at the World Health Assembly in Geneva this spring wanted to modify a breastfeeding resolution, and they went to the mat to do it, threatening other countries unless they promised to drop it.

The American delegates wanted to ditch language in the nonbinding resolution that called on governments to “protect, promote, and support breastfeeding” and another passage that called on policymakers to restrict the promotion of unhealthy food products. When that didn’t work, they threatened Ecuador, the country that intended to introduce the breastfeeding measure, with punitive trade and aid measures. Ultimately, it was Russia that agreed to introduce the breastfeeding resolution, and the U.S.’s efforts were “largely unsuccessful,” the Times reported.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which led the negotiation on the resolution, denied that trade sanctions were part of the discussion about the resolution. “Recent reporting attempts to portray the U.S. position at the recent World Health Assembly as ‘anti-breastfeeding’ are patently false,” HHS national spokesperson Caitlin Oakley told me. “The United States was fighting to protect women’s abilities to make the best choices for the nutrition of their babies.”


Nevertheless, the episode shocked health-policy advocates because breastfeeding seems so, well, wholesome. To some critics of the U.S. delegation’s actions, it seemed like an example of the Trump administration bowing to the food industry and infant-formula manufacturers. “What this battle in Geneva showed us is that we have a U.S. government that is strongly aligned with the interests of the infant-formula industry and dairy industry, and are willing to play hardball,” said Lucy Sullivan, the director of 1,000 Days, an advocacy group that works on nutrition for mothers and children.


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lovely but I am concerned about the earphones on baby...

A model breastfeeding her baby on the catwalk has caused a stir among those gathered at a fashion show in Miami.

Mara Martin held her five-month-old daughter Aria at Sports Illustrated's annual swimsuit show on Sunday. 

"I can't believe I am waking up to headlines with me and my daughter in them for doing something I do every day," she wrote on her Instagram page.

Many social media users praised the model as "inspiring", but some accused her of attention seeking.


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the white powder lobby...

Their pockets are deep and their relationships with governments can be cosy. Abbott Laboratories, for example, sponsored President Donald Trump's 2017 inauguration.

The Trump administration has been widely accused of protecting formula giants' interests with its intervention at the World Health Assembly in May.

After US delegates threatened Ecuador with trade sanctions and a withdrawal of military aid, a dozen other countries also dropped Ecuador's motion supporting breastfeeding, according to the New York Times.

American delegates also allegedly threatened to cut the US contributions to the WHO that made up 15 per cent of its budget last year.

Ultimately, Russia reintroduced and passed the breastfeeding motion, but US negotiators watered down its calls to restrict marketing of infant formula.

Nestle told the Centre for Investigative Reporting that "we have not, nor would we ever, lobby any governments to oppose breastfeeding policies anywhere in the world".

However its talking points at the WHO Assembly were clear: "Member states should consider measures other than simply recommending additional restrictions on the promotion of commercial baby food."

During negotiations, Australia said it would only support a motion with "sufficient flexibility for countries to implement measures as appropriate in their national contexts" — in other words, a motion with some wiggle room.


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natural bank...

Kenya's new breast milk bank in bid to reduce infant mortality

Globally, 800,000 children die every year due to a lack of access to breast milk, according to the World Health Organization. 

A new breast milk bank in Kenya is helping mothers donate their milk to babies whose mothers cannot breast feed them.

Pauline Odhiambo from BBC Africa's Life Clinic went to meet some of the women who are benefiting.


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meanwhile at the cow's...

Supermarket giant Coles has agreed to pay an extra $5.25m to one of its milk suppliers to settle a stoush with the consumer watchdog over whether it was passing all of a 10c a litre price increase on to dairy farmers.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission began investigating Coles following a promotional campaign in March in which the company promised it would “pass the extra 10c per litre to processors who will distribute all of the money to the farmers who supply them with milk for Coles brand”.

However, the ACCC alleges that although most farmers received the extra money, this was not the case with those who supplied milk to one processor, Norco.



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