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NEW DELHI, INDIA, May 13, 2001: Breastfeeding has been encouraged by the World Health Organization for at least the first six months of an infant's life. In poorer nations, breastfeeding up to this age is absolutely necessary to win the fight against malnutrition. Prompted by infant food companies, the World Health Assembly, meeting in Geneva on May 14, is proposing that the guideline be moved to four months of breastfeeding. India is outraged at the suggestion. Union Health Minister Dr. C.P. Thakur said, "India will oppose the proposal tooth and nail." Results of a nation-wide survey have indicated that around 55 per cent of infants under the age of six months receive their sole nutrition from breast milk. This percentage of exclusively breast-fed babies varies from state to state, with Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and Meghalaya having less than 20 per cent whereas Andhra Pradesha boasts 75 per cent.