The Trump Administration's Anti-Breastfeeding Stance Is Not New. But It Could Be Deadlier Than Ever.

baby bottles

This week, in a move that contradicted decades of research proving that breastfeeding benefits babies and mothers, the Trump administration rejected a World Health Organization resolution limiting the misleading marketing of formula, which—if replaced with breast milk—could save more than 800,000 infant lives a year.

Health officials were “shocked” and “stunned” by the news, the New York Times reported. But for the scholars who study this issue, nothing about this decision is surprising. The United States government, the largest purchaser of formula in the country, does more than market milk substitutes: It gives them away for free.

A network of federal policies, including Farm Bill subsidies and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), ensures that the formula industry remains profitable. In doing so, these programs disproportionately harm low-income women, specifically black mothers, who already face greater health risks.

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