Wednesday 22nd of September 2021

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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watery water...


Nestle and the World's Water

Opinion » Columnists

In 2013, the Internet almost exploded when a video was posted in which Nestlé Chairman and CEO Peter Brabeck-Letmathe said that "access to water is not a public right", water was not a human right, that it was just another foodstuff and a commodity, that it should be "privatised", given a "market value", and distributed by the "free market". Not only that, he stated that to declare water a 'right' or a 'human right' was "extreme". These are his exact words from the video:


"The one opinion, which I think is extreme, is represented by the NGOs who bang on about declaring water a public right. That means that as a human being you should have a right to water. That's an extreme solution. And the other view says that water is a foodstuff like any other and like any other foodstuff it should have a market value."


The Huffington Post wrote that "People were shocked at the inhumanity of Brabeck's statement, and rightly so." Nestlé's water behavior is even more egregious than with the baby milk, though direct deaths are not recorded. But in fact, Nestlé have had enormous troubles in so many countries for depleting local water resources and leaving communities entirely dry, for the sake of bottling and selling their Pure Life brand water. Many cities and states in the US have had violent demonstrations against Nestlé for their draining of aquifers, especially in areas that are already suffering droughts. The company appears to be able to use political connections, and direct or indirect financing of the election campaigns of American politicians, to drain vast amounts of water for resale while the local population and farmers have either no water or suffer significant rationing.


A few years ago, the Miami-Dade county in Florida ran some ads claiming the county's local tap water was "cheaper, purer and safer than bottled water", with Nestlé immediately threatening to sue the local government for making those (undoubtedly true) statements. And this is true all over the world. In one small community in Pakistan, a village councillor said small children were all being sickened by filthy water that resulted from Nestlé's digging a deep well and draining the entire aquifer, with villagers needing to drill new wells many hundreds of feet deep to find any water at all. Stories like this appear everywhere, with Nestlé executives brutal in their pursuance of water supplies to bottle for resale, in many cases draining much of an area's available free water and then re-selling to the same local population the same water they obtained free prior to Nestlé's arrival.

When we look at the total picture collected from dozens of countries, and consider the statements by company executives, it becomes frighteningly apparent that Nestlé intend to obtain control of so many aquifers in so many locations that they will be able to dominate the supply of water to the populations of the world just as they dominate the distribution of baby milk. For these reasons and others, there is an enormous global movement developing against the entire bottled water industry for the damage it inflicts on the natural environment and the billions of plastic bottles that cannot be reused or recycled.

One media report stated that, according to Nestlé, "the price of a bottle of water is similar to that of other packaged beverages as it incurs similar costs linked to production, quality assurance, bottling, storage and distribution. One-third of the costs can be attributed to water and raw materials, one-third to production and one-third to distribution." But a documentary titled "bottled life" demonstrated that in the US and many other locations, a truckload of water cost Nestlé only $10 but, after being bottled, was sold for $50,000. The producers of the documentary apparently contacted Nestlé for an interview to present their side of the story, but the company declined, claiming the film would not represent them in a fair manner, which sounds suspiciously as if the facts in the documentary were true and the company had no defense.

In China, I have spoken to more than one former Nestlé employee who claimed the company was simply re-bottling and re-selling tap water, but in any case, Nestlé's higher prices for bottled water appear to be based solely on the brand name, and my information coincides with that stated in the documentary above, which is that Nestlé obtains the water free or purchases it for an insignificant cost, then reaps a 10,000% profit on resale. But let's be sure to register the main point which is that the executives of Nestlé not only believe water is a foodstuff that should have a price, but they plan — by effective expropriation — to 'privatise' that water by simply assuming ownership of it, then giving it a market value and distributing it through their own version of a free market. Citizens everywhere should be seriously alarmed by the enormous privatisation of drinking water reservoirs and their supply chains all over the world.

And, if I can entertain you with two bits of bizarre news, the first is that Canada's University of Alberta, in spite of huge protests from the public and from its own faculty, gave an honorary Doctor of Laws degree to Nestlé's Chairman and CEO for … Are you ready for this? The honorary degree was given for Brabeck's great contribution to "the preservation, distribution and management of one of humanity's most vital resources: water." The second is that our problems are apparently not limited to baby milk and water. Yet another tragedy occurring in Africa has Coca-Cola's name on it, the same Coca-Cola that plans to get into the milk business because "it will rain money". Pediatricians in West Africa are reporting cases of a new medical condition so common it has a name: "Fanta Syndrome", which is infant malnutrition and dehydration caused by babies drinking Coca-Cola's Fanta orange soda rather than milk (because Nestlé's powdered milk is so expensive), and probably containing the same pesticides as regular Coca-Cola.

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downunder breastfeeding...

Aussie snowboarding icon Torah Bright is unapologetically proud of the mother she is.

After receiving backlash over a partially nude breastfeeding photo she shared to Instagram and Facebook on Mother’s Day, Bright sent an emotional message to fellow moms feeling unsupported about how they choose to parent.

“Reading some of these comments made me sad,” Bright wrote in a since-expired post on Instagram Stories — which included a topless image of her in a headstand while breastfeeding her 10-month-old son, Flow. Her response was captured by before it expired.

Bright is one of the more decorated athletes in Australia, winning the gold in the halfpipe at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and silver at Sochi four years later. She is also a two-time gold medalist at the X Games.


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