The right to food security

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e8273 (Published 10 December 2012)
Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e8273

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  1. Veena Shatrugna, formerly deputy director, National Institute of Nutrition1,
  2. R Srivatsan, senior fellow2
  1. 1Flat 504 Divya Enclave, Vijayapuri Colony, Tarnaka, Secunderabad 500017, India
  2. 2Anveshi Research Centre for Women’s Studies, Amberpet, Hyderabad 500013, India
  1. veenashatrugna{at}yahoo.com

Communities must push back against global policy decisions that fuel Third World hunger

The report from the Right to Food and Nutrition Watch published during October 2012 considered the effects of globalised food policies on populations in the Third World.1 It offered a very different perspective on food insecurity than that provided by official United Nations/World Bank documents. The authors of the report considered food security in light of social determinants of nutrition, such as food availability, agricultural policy, land transactions, cropping patterns, and agricultural finance. The report focused on the lack of accountability of large food producers that also own vast tracts of land to the people who face hunger and who have a right to food. Their damning indictment is that “the right to food of people around the planet has primacy over the need to fuel cars and economies in the European Union or North America.”

The report included a review of the progress of the Committee on World Food Security (an international body set up by the UN) after it was reformed in 2009 to include people’s organisations. The report stressed the importance of keeping the right to food as a benchmark in policy decisions. The World Trade Organization routinely …

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