09.10.2015 | Right to Food and Nutrition Watch

Peoples’ Nutrition Is Not a Business

Commonly referred to as ‘corporate capture’, the increasing control of businesses over food systems and resources, institutions, policy spaces and governance structures, is putting human rights at great risk. The world is witnessing this reality from the Americas to Asia, particularly since the 2008 world food crisis that shook societies across the globe. It is clear that the present economic model cannot guarantee the conditions for national governments to fulfill their human rights obligations, including the right to adequate food and nutrition.

Corporate-based approaches have led to an artificial separation of nutrition and sustainable food systems, resulting in vertical, technical and product-based solutions that ignore social, economic, political, environmental, health and cultural determinants. In a world where hundreds of millions go undernourished while half a billion suffer from obesity, communities worldwide see the prevention of corporate capture as a critical issue. Peoples’ nutritional sovereignty and core human rights principles are unalienable pillars in tackling inequity, oppression and discrimination and democratizing national and global societies.

The Right to Food and Nutrition Watch 2015 places nutrition under the spotlight and exposes the impact of business operations on peoples’ livelihoods. The concept of nutrition is assessed from a human rights perspective, going beyond the mere measurement of nutrients in food and human bodies to considering the socio-economic and cultural context in which human beings feed themselves.

“Peoples’ Nutrition Is Not a Business” explores the competing visions of nutrition, the causes of malnutrition and the policy responses, which often affect women disproportionately, both behind the scenes and in the public sphere. It uncovers pervasive corporate abuse and impunity, and puts forward recommendations for states to prevent and punish initiatives that hamper the enjoyment of the right to adequate food and nutrition.