"What happened was tantamount to blackmail", she said.
In the end, the US's effort to dash the World Health Organization resolution encouraging breastfeeding was largely unsuccessful.
Russian Federation eventually introduced the resolution.
The State Department declined to respond to questions, saying it could not discuss private diplomatic conversations. A Department of Health and Human Services spokesman told the Times the initial version of the resolution "placed unnecessary hurdles for mothers seeking to provide nutrition for their children". Starting infants out on a substitute in a maternity ward can make breastfeeding more hard for mothers later.
The final resolution largely reflected the original wording.
"We recognise not all women are able to breastfeed for a variety of reasons".
"These women should have the choice and access to alternatives for the health of their babies, and not be stigmatized for the ways in which they are able to do so", a spokesperson said in an email. The strong-arm tactics worked, and Ecuador dropped its support of the resolution. With more first world mothers opting for Mother Nature's way, most of the industry's modest growth comes from developing countries.
The administration also denied that US officials had threatened trade sanctions in the debate over the breastfeeding resolution. The newspaper said that "the Americans did not threaten them". The U.S. provides about 15 percent of WHO's budget, at $845 million. According to the Times, the saga shows how the Trump administration backs corporations over the public good and how the Trump administration is disrupting the rules-based order.
The New York Times, meanwhile, published a piece that painted America as a bully. "At what point do they start laughing at us as a country?"
Between 21 and 26 May 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) held their 71st World Health Assembly, which is attended by delegates from all WHO member state and serves as that organization's primary decision-making body.
Officials at the assembly this spring were shocked by the Trump administration's reaction to the resolution and support for infant formula manufacturers, but perhaps they shouldn't have been.
HHS spokeswoman Caitlin Oakley said in a statement responding to the account of the resolution that the U.S. "has a long history of supporting mothers and breastfeeding around the world and is the largest bilateral donor of such foreign assistance programs".
The Times says it spoke with more than a dozen participants at the assembly from several countries. Taking a break from being an all-purpose bogeyman, Russia, we're told, saved the day and the United States was thwarted.
According to the report, the delegation fought against elements in the resolution that would have demanded member states "protect, promote and support breast-feeding" and restrict potentially risky infant foods.
The United States suggested a shorter and more streamlined resolution that encouraged promoting exclusive breastfeeding as well as global initiatives to encourage breastfeeding in hospitals.
Breast milk is better than formula and reduces infant mortality and morbidity.
A 2016 study by The Lancet found that breastfeeding could save 80,000 child deaths a year across the globe.
The Times reported that the baby food market is a $70 billion industry.