This week world leaders have the opportunity to vote on a very important resolution for the health and well-being of mothers and babies at the World Health Assembly. The WHO Guidance on Ending the Inappropriate Promotion of Foods for Infants and Young Children provides critical guidance for countries to protect and promote breastfeeding.
Around the world misleading and aggressive marketing of infant formula undermines too many women’s confidence in their ability to breastfeed, which is why it is so important that the U.S. government support the resolution put forward this week at the World Health Assembly.
The research clearly shows that the aggressive, extensive and inappropriate promotion of formulas for infants and toddlers is contributing to a decline in optimal breastfeeding, which ultimately deprives mothers and children of important health benefits. Conversely, improving the rates of optimal breastfeeding can prevent an estimated 823,000 deaths of children under the age of 5.
Did you know that the infant formula industry spends about $4 billion a year on promoting their products? That’s more than the amount that governments spend on supporting breastfeeding. No wonder breastfeeding rates are so low.
The U.S. government must step up to support this resolution at the World Health Assembly this week. To not do so would be to place commercial interests ahead of the health and well-being of moms and babies.