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Breast-Feeding May Be Good For Babies — But What About The $50B Infant Formula Market?

(Jordan Whitt/Unsplash)MoreCloseclosemore
(Jordan Whitt/Unsplash)

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It can be exhausting to track all the ways in which the Trump regime targets vulnerable humans — and difficult to untangle its motives for doing so.

Did this administration start separating babies and toddlers from their parents in some twisted effort to fire up its base? Was it a gift to the private companies for whom immigration crackdowns rank as windfalls? Is the administration threatening to make these separations permanent based on sheer incompetence, or calculated cruelty?

And what of the decision to approve pesticides that cause brain damage in kids? Or to kick patients with pre-existing conditions off their insurance plans? Or to hand big banks a license to fleece senior citizens?

Every day, citizens of good faith wake up wondering what Trump and his kleptocratic enablers will come up with next, what fresh atrocity will wash across our screens and browsers.

Their most recent gambit is almost mind-boggling in its cynicism: They have decided to go after the milk of human kindness. Literally.

In a move that appalled health officials the world over, the administration attempted to block a resolution at the World Health Assembly meant to encourage … breast-feeding.

... if it’s good for the shareholders, why cry over spilled breast milk?

Why would Trump officials ignore the scientific consensus that breast milk helps prevent disease among infants, especially those born into impoverished conditions?

If you guessed, Because Donald Trump really cares about poor women from s---hole countries and thus wants them to have access to life-saving formula, I’ve got some cheap beachfront property for you.

If you guessed, Because they care more about the financial health of multi-national corporations that produce baby formula than the health of actual babies you may just be on to something.

Mothers in developing countries who lack access to potable water may be endangering their children by using formula. But hey, if it’s good for the shareholders, why cry over spilled breast milk?

In fact, coddling corporations is virtually the only consistent motive to emerge amid the chaotic reign of Donald Trump.

Every single decision made on his watch is intended to swell the swamp, to fortify and deepen covert dealings between big business and big government.

It should come as no surprise that State Department officials attempted to bully smaller, economically vulnerable nations into killing the World Health Organization (WHO) resolution.

This is how this administration operates. It’s why the Trump team also has been pushing to block soda taxes, and warning labels on junk food, and why they recently opposed a campaign by the WHO to expand access to lifesaving medications in poor countries.

Whatever global goodwill the United States accrued over the past century, Trump is blowing through, at the behest of his corporate overlords. One minute, he’s snubbing the Paris Climate Accord, the next he’s tearing up our nuclear treaty with Iran.

And don’t forget those fantastic trade wars! Trump’s going to make America great again, even if he has to bankrupt our soybean farmers and the auto industry to do it.

This is the kind of moral leadership our president is displaying to the rest of the world, even as he leads our craven Fourth Estate on a never-ending tour of his wounded ego, via tweet and screech.

And it’s the reason the president of the United States can no longer travel in public — neither here in America, nor abroad. Because he is recognized as a moral abomination, a would-be tyrant who exploited our civic apathy and flawed electoral system to seize power based on the support of a quarter of our registered voters.

Vladimir Putin must be laughing his head off at this point. Using a few hackers and bot farms — along with America’s own homegrown right-wing propagandists — Putin helped bring to power a man virtually guaranteed to sink our global reputation.

Any guesses as to one leader courageous enough to stymie the U.S. effort to block the breastfeeding resolution at the WHO?

If you guessed Putin, you may be on to something else.

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Related:

Steve Almond Twitter Cognoscenti contributor
Steve Almond's new book, "Bad Stories: What the Hell Just Happened to Our Country," is now available. He hosts the Dear Sugars podcast with Cheryl Strayed.

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