Health advocates had trouble finding another sponsor who did not fear US "retaliation".
According to the Times report on Sunday based on interviews with dozens of meeting participants, U.S. negotiations in Geneva objected to the resolution encouraging breastfeeding around the world and allegedly resorted to intimidation tactics to bully other countries into dropping it.
'The failing NY Times Fake News story today about breast feeding must be called out. In fact, the WHO Code is primarily concerned with the misleading marketing of such products in ways that explicitly discourage breastfeeding as a choice, especially within poor communities, as The Guardian observed: "Formula promotion is a particular issue in poorer countries because there is a higher risk of pneumonia and diarrhoea for babies, and with a lack of access to healthcare mothers are less informed about the benefits of breastfeeding".
US delegates pushed for removal of resolution language calling on governments to "protect, promote and support breast-feeding." .
According to the New York Times, the U.S.'s decision to side against breastfeeding shocked World Health officials and set off a contentious debate, which more than a dozen people from several countries recounted for the report.
US officials allegedly threatened to withhold military aid and to impose trade sanctions on that Latin American country if it did not drop the resolution.
The United States once again complicated efforts to pass a United Nations-affiliated resolution, this time one encouraging breast-feeding, drafted by the World Health Assembly.
A spokesperson for HHS told the Times, "We recognize not all women are able to breast-feed for a variety of reasons". "They should be equally supported with information and access to alternatives for the health of themselves and their babies".
"Malnutrition and poverty are the precise settings where you absolutely do need to breastfeed, because that's the setting where access to safe and clean water for reconstituting powdered formula is often impossible to find", Dr. Michele Barry, director of the Center for Innovation in Global Health in the Stanford School of Medicine, told The New York Times in response to Trump's tweet. The Ecuadorean government quickly acquiesced.
The State Department would not answer the Times' questions. The editors then again accused the Trump administration of siding with "corporate interests".
"And now the U.S. Gov is against breastfeeding in favor of formula companies", a DailyKos story blared.
American officials allegedly sought to remove the language pushing for global government support of breastfeeding practices and attacked countries that were in favour of it. At the same Assembly, U.S. Representatives "succeeded in removing statements supporting soda taxes from a document that advises countries grappling with soaring rates of obesity".
Russian Federation sponsored a compromised version of it after two days of negotiation.
The United States also insisted that the words "evidence-based" accompany references to long-established initiatives that promote breastfeeding, which critics described as a ploy that could be used to undermine programs that provide parents with feeding advice and support.
A 2016 Lancet study found that universal breastfeeding would prevent 800,000 child deaths a year across the globe and yield US$300 billion in savings from reduced health care costs and improved economic outcomes for those reared on breast milk.
Breast milk is better than formula and reduces infant mortality and morbidity.