Nutrition, education and awareness raising developments in the progressive realization of the right to adequate food

29.07.2014 - 19.08.2014

2014 marks the 10th anniversary of the Voluntary Guidelines to support the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security (Right to Food Guidelines). At its 41st Session from 13-17 October 2014 the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) will undertake a retrospective of the progress made in the implementation of the Right to Food Guidelines (RtFG). FAO prepared a number of working studies on different aspects of the Right to Food Guidelines as a contribution to the retrospective, and a number of these will be discussed in the Right to Food Forum. Developments in nutrition, education and awareness raising are the subject of this second online discussion.

As a basis for this discussion, the relevant working study is available here. It explores advances and challenges related to the Right to Food Guidelines 10 and 11 and argues that:

  1. the achievement of nutritional and culturally accepted well-being is an integral part of the full realization of the right to adequate food. Nutrition considerations must be included in all food system debates and measures being taken regarding the protection, fulfilment and respect of this right;
  2. education and awareness raising give people needed knowledge which helps them develop skills to make good food choices, and build their confidence in claiming their rights through a broad spectrum of tools and means, including human rights and nutrition education.

The working study concludes that nutritious diets, access to education, and increased awareness on the right to food are not only instrumental, but vital to achieving people’s full physical and cognitive human development, potential and health, concepts which are interdependent, indivisible and interrelated with regard to the right to food. This discussion aims at gathering more evidence from the past 10 years on Guidelines 10 and 11. We would particularly welcome contributions around the following focus questions:

  • Are there some specific country examples or stories that illustrate how a given nutrition intervention (such as in nutrition-sensitive agriculture, nutrition education, appropriate breastfeeding practices, clean water and adequate sanitation, etc.) contributed to the progressive realization of the right to food (for example by increasing knowledge and capacity of decision-makers; by helping beneficiaries making informed decision on nutrition-sensitive matters, etc.)?
  • Are there some specific country examples or stories that illustrate how a particular education or awareness raising intervention (such as in human rights, nutrition, health, food safety, literacy and other skills training for sustainable development; primary, secondary and higher education; information sharing; school and university curricula) contributed to the progressive realization of the right to food (for example by supporting investment in nutrition, human rights or food security training; or broadening primary education for girls and women and other vulnerable groups; strengthening technical knowledge and education at higher level on human rights, nutrition and the right to food, etc.)?

Please join the debate on nutrition, education, awareness raising and the right to food!

I thank you in advance for your thoughts and comments!

Serena Pepino, FAO Right to Food Team (ESA)

This discussion is now closed. Please contact us for any further information.

Serena Pepino FAO - Facilitator of the discussion, Italy

Dear Right to Food Forum members and contributors to the online discussion on Nutrition, education and awareness raising developments in the progressive realization of the right to adequate food.

Thank you very much once again for your valuable inputs to this discussion. Your comments reflected experiences and insights from a wealth of contributors coming from different countries, some of which we already acknowledged (India and Nicaragua) and news ones such as the USA, Costa Rica, South Africa, Bangladesh, Venezuela, Bolivia and Pakistan.

A number of elements raised in this discussion have been repeatedly brought up by many of you as crucial issues in terms of improving the realization of the right to adequate food in nutrition, education and awareness raising interventions. Participation, equality, capacity, information and experience sharing, knowledge and (human rights) learning, empowerment, commitment and responsibility were all mentioned by you as being important elements. This is of course not an exhaustive list but the examples and comments of this discussion show that the realization of the right to food is very much dependable on a wide and broad number of factors pertinent to the education and nutrition sectors, not to mention the realization of other fundamental human rights. What you also highlighted during the discussion is that commitment out there does exist and that in many countries progress to guarantee that everyone can enjoy the right to food is made daily.

As rights holders or duty bearers, we all have an important role to play. The Right to Food Guidelines offer inspiration and concrete policy guidance on how to ensure, among other, that nutrition and education interventions make a difference in the realization of the right to food, wherever such interventions are designed, implemented and monitored.  

FAO shall not tire to promote this human right and use the Right to Food Guidelines as its main tool. The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) will include a session on a ten year retrospective on progress made in implementing the Right to Food Guidelines at its 41st Session in October 2014. Your contributions to the two questions posed in this discussion helped informing this important global debate and for that, I thank you wholeheartedly!

Thanks again,

Serena Pepino, FAO Right to Food Team (ESA)


Dear Colleagues,

I have converted the Ecological Footprints of Modern Farming Study PPT to word, below, as the FSN system does not accept PPTs. This study has been done and  published by very well respected CSO/NGOs in India, raising awareness and providing solutions on  ecological footprints following the high cost external input green revolution farming systems, at KUNTALA GUDEM,  Mandal - Choutuppal , District – Nalgonda,  Telangana, India:

Ecological Footprints of Modern Farming

Based on a study done by students of Zilla Parishad High School , Kuntalagudem

Kuntala Gudem village demographics - A glimpse

•      Families living – 106

•      Families participated in Survey – 102

•      Cultivable Land – 536.25 acres (over 200 hectares)

•      Rain Fed Holding – 137.5 acres

•      Land Fed by Borewell water – 398.75 acres

•      No. of Borewells – 83

•      Dried up Borewells – 3

•      Electricity Transformers – 17

•      Crops under Cultivation in acreage

–     Cotton = 372

–     Paddy = 127.75

–     Fodder = 19

Land Holding & number of farmers

•      I – 2.5 acres   33 no’s

•      2.5 – 5 acres 34 no’s

•      5 – 10 acres  23 no’s

•      10 – 20 acres 11 no’s

Rainfall in 2013 – 969 mm

Paddy variety BPT 5204 was caught in heavy rains during harvest in October and farmers have lost their crop

Manures / Compost - Chemicals used

•      Urea – 842.5 Bags

•      DAP – 792 Bags

•      Compost – 95.5 Tractor loads

•      Poultry Manure – 24 Tractor loads

•      Bio Fertilizer – 10 Kg

•      Weedicides – 113 Kg

•      Pesticides – 557 Ltrs

Ecological Footprints: Water consumption by Paddy

•      Paddy fields spread – 127.75 acres

•      Water consumption per acre – 60 Lac Ltrs

•      Total water consumed for Paddy cultivation –

            76,65,00,000 Ltrs

•      Overall Paddy Cultivated – 268.27 tonnes

•      Water needed to grow one Kg of Paddy – 2858 Ltrs

•      Water needed to cook one Kg of Rice – 4,759 Ltrs

Ecological Footprints – Methane Emissions from Paddy cultivation

•      Methane released by ponding water per day – 460 Kg

•      Total in a crop period of 150 days – 69 Tonnes

•      In entire village – 127.75 acres

•      One tonne of Methane equals 21 tonnes of CO2

CO2 emission - Total Methane released = 8,814.5 tonnes which is equal to 1.85 Lakh tonnes of carbon dioxide


Ecological Footprints: Water consumption by cotton

•      Cotton fields spread – 372 acres

•      Water utilized per acre – 6 Lakh Ltrs

•      Total water utilized – 22, 32, 00, 000 Ltrs

•      Total Cotton Harvested – 204.6 Tonnes

•      Water consumed to grow a Kg. of  Cotton – 1090 Ltrs

•      Kg of cotton lint – 3629.7 Ltrs

Ecological Footprints: Water consumption in agriculture

•      100 mm rain on one acre= 1.00 lakh ltrs of water

•      Rainfall in the village – 969 mm

•      Water received due to rainfall – 51,96,26,250 Ltrs

•      Paddy – 76, 65, 00, 000 Ltrs

•      Cotton – 22, 32, 00, 000 Ltrs

•      Total – 98, 97, 00, 000 Ltrs

Ecological Footprints: Water consumption

•      Population – 530

–     Water consumed per person– 300/ day Ltrs

–     Water consumed for household – 5,80,35,000 Ltrs

•      Total Livestock – 265

–     Water consumed per livestock =– 150 Ltrs per day

–     Yearly consumption of water for livestock = 1,45,08,750 Ltrs

•      Yearly consumption by the entire Village – 1,06,22,43,750 Ltrs

–     Difference on the sources of water accessed at the village & water consumed  (1,06,22,43,750 – 51,96,26,250)

–     Difference is 54,26,17,500 

PS: Going by the above statistics, if about 50% of village area has groundwater aquifer, there is a depletion of water resources by 20 cm every year

Ecological Footprints: Electricity to Bore wells

•      Assuming one bore well working six hours per day for 200 days in an year total units consumed comes to 4474

•      Carbon dioxide emitted in generation of one unit of electricity – 3.2 Metric Tones

•      Bore wells in working condition at the village – 80

•      Amount of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions is 11,45,344 Tones

Ecological Footprints: Chemical Fertilizers

Carbon Emissions:

–     In producing one bag of Urea = 92.46 Kg

–     In transporting one bag of Urea = 62.1 Kg

–     N20 released by a bag of Urea = 28.75 Kg

–     One Kg of N2O equals 310 Kg of CO2

–     Urea consumed by village in total = 842.5 Kg

–     Amount of CO2 emitted by urea in the village = 7638.98 tonnes

Ecological Footprints: Farm Machinery

•      Diesel consumed to plough 1 acre – 8 Ltrs

•      Diesel consumed by a harvester per acre – 8 Ltrs

•      Diesel consumed to plough the entire paddy fields – 536.25 X 2 X 8 = 8580 Ltrs

•      Diesel consumed by the village to harvest paddy 127.75 X 8 = 1022 Ltrs

•      Overall diesel consumption on account of machinery = 9620 Ltrs

•      Amount of CO2 emitted by a liter of Diesel – 2.26 X 10 Metric Tones totaling 225 Metric tones

Environment footprint of entire village CO2 emission in Metric Tones

•      Electricity – 11,45,344 Tonnes

•      For Paddy cultivation due Methane release – 1,85,109.75

•      For urea consumed – 7638.98

•      For machinery used – 22.6

•      Over all CO2 emission – 3,77,881.08

Comparing the CO2 emissions by this village


•         Equals to 73,554 Tones of CO2 emission

•         Equals to 1,43,95,46,971.20 KM travelling by Car


•         Equals to 2,02,943 Tonnes of Coal burnt

•         Equals to 2,026 Tones of coal burnt by Railway wagons


•         Equals 96,89,258 plants consuming CO2 for ten years

•         Equals 309739 acres of a forest area consuming CO2

Ecological footprints - Conclusions & Alternative solutions

•      Can avoid drought situation for two crop seasons, if the water is harvested/ stored by each farm.

•      If the water is conserved/ harvested at the community/ village level, it would ensure access for the entire home needs of the community.

•      Converting the high cost green revolution paddy cultivation to the low cost Systematic Rice Intensification (SRI) method, reduces the consumption of water and the release of Methane gases by more than half

•      Converting back to the low cost successful producer oriented economies of scope eco/ natural/ organic farming systems of the area, reduces the water requirements and emissions by more than 50%, ensures access to the rural poor access to their requirements of safe nutritious food, at little or no cost, when compared to the high cost external input market oriented economies of scale green revolution mono crop technology agriculture systems.

Dear Colleagues,
I am attaching a doc published by two very well respected CSO/NGOs in India, raising awareness on the fact that GMOs and Organic cannot co exist.

Delivery & long term Sustainability

The economic activities of the rural smallholder producer communities  following their low cost ecological agriculture systems, mostly ensures access to their nutritious food requirements at little or no cost, thus reducing hunger, Malnutrition, poverty, suicides and the effects of climate change whilst improving livelihoods, purchasing power and net incomes. The intervention of their PC, staffed by professionals (general practitioners [GPs]/ MBAs in agriculture) to take over all risks and responsibilities other than on farm activities, is essential for proper convergence between the supply side and demand side institutions providing  services related to agricultural production, management, training, extension, value addition, etc., considering that it has become more difficult with passing of time. Evidence in this regard is available in the working papers available on this link:

Given the required support, producers can then access low cost finance, management, know how/ knowledge for producing inputs, optimizing production, value addition to increase shelf life of perishables for minimizing post harvest losses, marketing/ logistics and creating the required infrastructure. PCs are also helping strengthen the capacity of producers by negotiating for improved policies, ensure stable domestic markets and link with regional, National and International processes.

Government (Members of Parliament/ Legislators) have the responsibility and at all levels to fund, facilitate and assist in the setting up and staffing of PCs, thereafter mentor, if they are to succeed and for agriculture to contribute in economic development and growth in the long term. A model successfully implemented and in one of the poorest districts of Orissa, India:


,UK research on nutrition through agriculture:

Further to my contribution yesterday urging that we follow the UN reports for the long term sustainability of smallholder producer communities, I am sharing a meta-analysis of 343 studies led by Newcastle University, U.K., highlighting that low cost organic agriculture/ food is a lot more safe and nutritious when compared to the high cost conventional agriculture systems:
1. Higher antioxidant concentrations, and less cadmium and pesticide residues, in organically grown crops: a systematic literature review and meta-analysis

Baranski M et al. (2014) British Journal of Nutrition 06/2014; DOI: 10.1017/S0007114514001366


Demand for organic foods is partially driven by consumer perceptions that they are more nutritious. However, scientific opinion is divided on whether there are significant nutritional differences between organic and non-organic foods, and two recent reviews concluded that there are no differences. Here we report results of meta-analyses based on 343 peer-reviewed publications that indicate statistically significant, meaningful differences in composition between organic and non-organic crops/crop based foods. Most importantly, concentrations of a range of antioxidants such as polyphenolics were found to be substantially higher in organic crops/crop based foods, with levels of phenolic acids, flavanones, stilbenes, flavones, flavonols and anthocyanines being an estimated 19 (95% CI 5, 33), 69 (95% CI 13, 125), 28 (95% CI 12, 44), 26 (95% CI 3, 48), 50 (95% CI 28, 72) and 51 (95% CI 17, 86) % higher respectively. Many of these compounds have been previously linked to reduced risk of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases and certain cancers in dietary intervention and epidemiological studies. Additionally the frequency of occurrence of pesticide residues was 4 times higher in conventional crops, which also contained significantly higher concentrations of the toxic metal cadmium (Cd). Significant differences were also detected for some other (e.g. minerals and vitamins) compounds. There is evidence that higher antioxidant and lower Cd concentrations are linked to specific agronomic practices (e.g. non-use of mineral N and P fertilisers respectively) prescribed in organic farming systems. Overall it is concluded that on average, across regions and production seasons, organic crops have more antioxidants and less Cd and pesticide residues than the non-organic comparators.

Corresponding author: Prof. Carlo Leifert, phone +44 1661 830 222, fax +44 1661 831 006, email


Newcastle University, School of Agriculture Food and Rural Development (AFRD)

About the Study

A new scientific paper published in the British Journal of Nutrition shows that there are significant composition differences between organic and conventional crops (primarily vegetables, fruit and cereals) that are relevant in terms of nutritional quality.

It is the most up-to-date analysis of the nutrient content in organic compared to conventionally produced foods, synthesising the results of many more studies than previous analyses. The findings are the result of a groundbreaking new systematic literature review and meta-analysis by an international team of scientists led by experts at Newcastle University.

The most striking differences revealed in the study are: higher concentrations of antioxidants, lower levels of cadmium, nitrate and nitrite, and less frequent presence of pesticide residues in organic crops compared with non-organic.

In presenting robust evidence of substantial differences and significant nutritional benefits from organic food, this study contrasts markedly with some previous studies, in particular with the findings of a 2009 UK Food Standards Agency (FSA)-commissioned study (Dangour et al. Am. J. Clin Nutr. 90, 680-685).

The new analysis of organic crops is based on 343 peer-reviewed publications solely focusing on organic crops, fruit and vegetables, whereas the FSA-commissioned study based its conclusions on just 46 publications covering crops, meat and dairy. The Newcastle University study specifically sought to identify and quantify compositional differences between organic and conventional crops (primarily cereals, vegetables and fruit) and crop-based products (e.g. seed oils, wine and baby food) based on a systematic review of all the available literature and data.

With over 50% of the publications included in the new analysis published since 2006 (and therefore not available to the FSA-commissioned researchers, and other earlier studies), this review is a landmark in the advancement of our knowledge of the subject.

While people should not eat less fruit or vegetables, this study demonstrates that choosing food produced according to organic standards can lead to increased intake of antioxidants without increased calorie intake. With greater nutrient and antioxidant density, every mouthful of fruit and vegetables produced organically can count for more. This constitutes an important addition to the information currently available to consumers.

The authors of this study welcome the continued public and scientific debate on this important subject. The entire database generated and used for this analysis is freely available on the Newcastle University website ( for the benefit of other experts and interested members of the public.

The Main Findings

Organic crops/crop-based foods – on average, across regions and production seasons – have substantially more potentially health-promoting antioxidants, phenolics and (poly)phenolics and less potentially harmful cadmium, nitrite and pesticide residues than non-organic comparators.

The analysis indicates that the quality of food is strongly influenced by the way it is produced, and that organic farming methods lead to increased levels of nutritionally desirable compounds and reduced concentrations of undesirable ones. In particular, there is increasing evidence that higher levels of manufactured chemical fertilisers, most notably the nitrogen and phosphate-based fertilisers that are prohibited or heavily restricted by organic farming standards, lead to substantially lower concentrations of antioxidants in conventional crops.

Organic farming prohibits the use of synthetic chemical pesticides, and promotes the use of balanced crop nutrition, crop rotation and mechanical, biological and cultural methods for weed, pest and disease control. This explained the very low incidence of pesticide contamination in organic compared to conventional crops found in the study and demonstrated that organic food consumption is an efficient way to reduce dietary pesticide exposure.

More Antioxidants/(Poly)phenolics

Organic crops and crop-based food products were found to have significantly higher concentrations of antioxidants (including phenolic acids, flavanones, stilbenes, flavones, flavonols and anthocyanines)compared with their conventionally produced counterparts.  The mean percentage difference for most antioxidant compounds was between plus 18% and 69%. Smaller, but still statistically significant, composition differences were also detected for a number of carotenoids and vitamins.

A switch to eating organic fruit, vegetable and cereals (and food made from them) would lead to a 20–40% (and for some compounds up to a 60%) increase in crop-based antioxidant/(poly)phenolic consumption without any increase in calories. This is important as there is strong scientific evidence of the health benefits of increased consumption of (poly)phenolics and other plant secondary metabolites with antioxidant activity, most notably protection against chronic diseases, including cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases and some cancers.

Less Toxic Metals and Nitrogen

Substantially lower concentrations of a range of toxic heavy metals were detected in organic crops, particularly cadmium (on average 48% lower). Cadmium is one of only three toxic metal contaminants (along with lead and mercury) for which the European Commission has set maximum permitted contamination levels in food. Since it is known to accumulate in the body (especially the liver and kidneys), any reduction in cadmium consumption is positive.

Nitrogen concentrations were also found to be significantly lower in organic crops.  Concentrations of total nitrogen were 10%, nitrate 30% and nitrite 87% lower in organic compared with conventional crops.

The higher nitrate and nitrite concentrations in conventional crops are believed to be linked to the use of mineral nitrogen fertiliser, which is strictly banned under organic farming standards.

The significantly higher nitrite concentrations in conventional crops can be considered nutritionally undesirable, as they have been described as potential risk factors for stomach cancer and other conditions.

Less Pesticide Residues

This study found that the frequency of occurrence of detectable pesticide is four times higher in conventional (46 (+/-4)%) than organic (11(+/-2)%) crops.

Conventionally grown fruit had by far the highest frequency of pesticide residues (75(+/-5%), about seven times higher than in organic fruit. In conventional vegetables and crop-based processed foods the frequency of pesticide residues was three to four times higher than in organic. All organic crop types were found to have similarly low contamination rates.

The understanding that they contain lower levels of pesticides is already a key factor motivating some consumers to choose organic foods, making this further information useful for consumer choice.

While further studies are needed to clarify the health benefits of reducing pesticide exposure, any reduction can be considered desirable, especially since we know that a significant proportion of conventional crop samples regulated by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) contain pesticide residues above permitted levels. For example, in recent EFSA surveys pesticide residues above the Maximum Residue Levels (MRL) were found in 6.2% of spinach, 3.8% of oats, 3.4% of peach, 3% of orange, 2.9% of strawberry and lettuce, 2.8% of table grape and 2.7% of apple samples. 

The fact that pesticides are found twice as frequently in conventional fruit than in conventional vegetables is also significant and may point to greater use of persistent chemicals and/or pesticides being applied closer to harvest time in fruit crops.

Need for Further, and More Reliable, Scientific Studies

This study identified serious deficiencies in a large proportion of previously published studies. These include a lack of standardised measurements and reporting, and evidence of duplicative or selective reporting of data collected in experiments.

The statistical methods used in the Newcastle University study were an advance over previous research syntheses that did not balance out the contribution of larger studies versus smaller ones. As well as having less evidence and not accounting for the amount of information, earlier syntheses used less reliable methodologies and inclusion criteria, and some included results from the same experiment multiple times.

The authors of the Newcastle University study also concluded that further research is needed to understand the variation between studies and that it is vital that future comparative food composition studies use standardised protocols.

This study identified significant differences, believed to be nutritionally beneficial, in the composition of organic compared with non-organic crops. However, it also highlights the need for more research to build our knowledge of the corresponding human health benefits of these differences.

The findings of this study clearly demonstrate the urgent need to carry out well-controlled human dietary intervention and cohort studies specifically designed to identify and quantify the health impacts of switching to organic food.

About the funding of this study

The authors are grateful for funding from the European Community financial participation under the Sixth Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration Activities for the Integrated Project QUALITYLOWINPUTFOOD, FP6-FOOD-CT-2003- 506358.

The study also received financial and technical support from the SheepdroveTrust, which supports independent R&D underpinning the development of organic and sustainable farming and food systems. Financial support by the Trust was without conditions and the Trust had no influence on the design and management of the research project and the preparation of publications from the project.

To read the full paper, as published in the British Journal of Nutrition, go to: This includes further information and annexes, and summary information in English, German, French, Italian, Greek, Polish, Czech and Finnish.

Higher antioxidant concentrations, and less cadmium and pesticide residues, in organically grown crops: a systematic literature review and meta-analysis.  Leifert, C. et al. (2014) British Journal of Nutrition July 2014

The full dataset of this study is being made publicly available at

For more information please contact:

Lead author Professor Carlo Leifert 

Tel:  01661-830222/830444

e-mail: Teresa Jordon



Sher Muhammad Panhwer Farmer Agriculture Innovation Development...

Dear All






Mission for long term sustainability of smallholder producer communities:

The UN agencies correctly have and continue to sound alarms about the urgent need for the rural poor smallholder producer communities (about 50% of the world’s population), to return to producer oriented, economies of scope development, following ecological/ natural/ organic agriculture systems, being sustainable in the long term, thus ensuring their access to nutritious food needs, at little or no cost and also feed the world. In contrast, the United States, Canada, Australia and some EU governments are pushing for the high cost external input, chemical intensive and corporate-dominated industrial farming systems and now also GMOs. UNCTAD report, link at:

Trade and Environment Review 2013: Wake Up Before It’s Too Late,”

has contributions from more than 60 scientist/ experts around the world, mostly re iterating the findings of the IAASTD report, link at:

 December 2010 UN Report

Reports also argue that smallholder producer communities following low cost organic/ natural/ ecological agriculture systems of their area is the answer for “feeding the world,” not the high cost conventional Industrial/ GMOs with a focus on mono cultures agriculture systems, being the cause of distress, deep debt and suicides.

The UN reports rightly calls for, major changes in food, agriculture and trade systems, to focus on  meeting the conversion needs of the rural poor smallholder producer communities, if they  are to access their requirement of nutritious food, thus reducing hunger, malnutrition, poverty and suicides  whilst improving livelihoods, increasing net profits and purchasing power, effects of climate change and ensuring their long term sustainability.

These reports also demand that global trade rules be reformed in order to work toward these ends as the proposed trade deals like the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the U.S.- EU Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are primarily designed to strengthen the hold of multinational corporate and financial institutions managing the global agriculture economy are mostly working against the rural poor smallholder producer communities. Further ,with food prices (and speculation in food prices) on the rise, the report states that the present conventional systems are seeking to accomplish the opposite by continuing to push for their high cost green revolution/ GMO technologies..

Thus, the reports call upon the Governments, National and Global Agriculture and Research Systems to shift from their conventional, high cost mono culture dependent external input based industrial production to following the low cost successful ecological/ natural agriculture systems, as applicable to the soil and agro climatic conditions in each area, that optimizes nutrition and improves  agriculture productivity of smallholder producer communities.

Hamid Ahmad Pakistan Society of Food Scientists & Technologists (PSFST),...

George Kent comments on GM Foods are supported. However, I disagree that the introduction of GM foods has any role in ensuring food security. It is being propagated and shown with incomplete scientific data as  a win-win situation for food security,food shortages and hunger in developing countries. It is not so at all as the food production by traditional means is fully capable of providing food to the world. It has been forced to weaken , even abandoned its practice, by direct and indirect means, to make space for the maintenence of riches in the already rich countries. It must be understood that a mandatory requirement of the capitalist system run by economic powers, is to create innovations to follow what they call t as development & job creation. This approach creates money for its maintenance , by extracting it from poor developing countries, by forced market for these unwanted  so-called innovative products & technologies by depicting them as  saviors of their life & health. Equally important and strong scientific proof / data exists to strongly counteract advantages & priviledges of GM foods in the as mentioned by the MNC/TNC of economic powers but it is supreesed and more money is spent otherwise for media marketing as favours. Therefore, I oppose the introduction of GM Foods for mankind and support traditional selection of food crops which definately hold capacity to meet our future needs of secure food. I want to quote from a faculty of Harvard Business School about the approval process of GM Altered products in USA,the largest producer, proponent and beneficiary in this field .

Quote, Dr. Shon R. Hiatt , Asstt. Prof., Harvard Business School, USA, Sept. 2013.

”Government agencies can be "captured" by the very companies or industries they regulate. Looking at how genetically altered food products are approved, finds unexpected influencers on the US Department of Agriculture”.

"Regulatory capture" describes the phenomenon whereby regulatory agencies tasked with serving the public instead end up advancing  the interests of the companies they regulate.”

Traditional theories of capture such as lobbying and campaign contributions had little effect on whether the US Department of Agriculture approved any particular genetically altered agriculture product. What did seem to affect the approval process was the influence of third-party groups such as associations and even related regulatory agencies.


Maria del Valle Rodriguez C Universidad Nacional Experimental "Ezequiel...

En mi país Venezuela, hay  experiencias exitosas en cuanto a Desarrollos nutrición, educación y sensibilización en la realización progresiva del derecho a una alimentación adecuada. Nuestra legislación a través de la Constitución de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela de 1999  establece a la alimentación como derecho y  en el año 2008 elabora y legaliza  la Ley orgánica de Seguridad y Soberanía Agroalimentaria con el fin primordial de regular y normar las actividades implicadas en la seguridad agroalimentaria y su relación con el aspecto agrícola. Sin embargo, a pesar de la base legal siguen existiendo deficiencias y desigualdades cada vez más evidentes  en cuanto a la realización de la alimentación como derecho.

Sin embargo, han  existido instituciones  a nivel nacional y regional que han hecho  un trabajo en cuanto a la educación y sensibilización en relación a  la alimentación.  Existió  en Venezuela  intenciones serias y coherentes entre 1930 y 1960  para la educación en alimentación:  Las demostradoras de hogar campesino  que eran damas formadas para educar en áreas rurales y suburbanas cuyas áreas de enseñanzas eran : Horticultura, Avicultura, Cocina doméstica , higiene etc. Luego el Gobierno crea en Venezuela el Instituto Nacional de Nutrición  y empieza el apoyo gubernamental a la educación y  nutrición. Se inicia luego  El vaso de leche escolar,  El Programa de Alimentación Escolar (PAE) y los comedores populares  que siempre han brindado un apoyo importante a los más necesitados. En la década del 2000 se inicia en el país el Programa PESA como proyecto gubernamental con apoyo técnico de la FAO y el Ministerio de Agricultura y aunque su fuerte no fue la educación dejo un conjunto de información importante a nivel nutricional y alimentario que ha sido talvez sub utilizado.

Es notable también  el apoyo de algunas instituciones privadas dedicadas a la educación alimentaria, apoyo nutricional  e investigación. Ejemplo de ello son : CANIA y Fundación BENGOA. La primera institución CANIA  con el apoyo de la empresa privada tiene como  misión la estipulada en su página web:

MISION: “Fortalecemos el capital humano y social a través de la prevención y atención integral de la condición nutricional infantil y familiar, la producción de conocimientos y la capacitación en salud nutricional y áreas relacionadas para lograr cambios positivos sostenibles en la comunidad en general.”

Por su parte la Fundación BENGOA hace un importante aporte en cuanto a la investigación alimentaria y promoción de la educación nutricional a través  de activa  participación social  en eventos académicos y  social  a través de su pagina  :

En cuanto al gobierno venezolano  éste define la forma, calidad y realización de derecho a la alimentación a través del Ministerio del Poder Popular para la Alimentación  con 12 organismos adscritos  para asegurar el acceso igualitario a los alimentos en forma oportuna. No obstante,  hay incongruencias con este deber gubernamental especialmente lo que se refiere a políticas de distribución, control de cambios  e incentivos de la producción nacional  y políticas monetarias;  pues ciertamente el derecho a la alimentación en Venezuela está seriamente cuestionada.

Los programas de Educación y sensibilización se han enfocado en mi país hacia la parte distributiva de alimentos en detrimento de la producción agrícola , la educación y sensibilización; aunque actualmente hay  experiencias exitosas  sería importante poder incorporar al proceso educativo  y de sensibilización a áreas rurales y de difícil acceso y con énfasis en mujeres y niños de manera de poder garantizar efectos duraderos y seguros en la alimentación como derecho

Muhammad Ariful Haque Kamfisht Universe Engineering, Bangladesh

The people of third world are in great problem with formalin and other numbers of chemicals contaminated raw foods and fatal poisoning in processed foods.
Why farmers & food businessmen are influenced to adulterate food? The reasons are excess transportation time & cost, high cold storage cost & lack of sufficient cold storage, etc.

In this context, I think both local & international quick accessible more market places are needed to sell foods before rotten. I think it is possible by 'Multiple Bi-pass Highways connectivity with Trans Global Highway. This will also ensure Regional Balanced Development'. I believe by “trans global Highway” food price will go down due to this smooth communication system as well as tons of food will be saved from unexpected rotten . If possible, in Bangladesh, BIWTC can launch Speed boat service from district level terminals to Thana level terminals and even if possible village level terminals. It will save cost of traveling, time, and safe waterways from grabbers.
“Food Air transportation Authority” can be formed to ensure cheap & faster transportation of food.

Sufficient Environment friendly low cost food reservoirs could be set up with the funding of banks and these storage should not be used to increase food price rather than public interest. Controlled Biological pest control system need to be implemented to avoid chemicals. Bio-fertilizers needed more to avoid chemical fertilizers.

Another significant problem is lack of knowledge on nutrition, malnutrition of food, and obesity & its relevant problems due to over consuming any specific food.
To avoid malnutrition, we need strong campaign on “Allowed for all- Recipe Arrangement having Nutrition Nourishment (RANNA)” in local languages that developed by FAO. All levels of educational curriculums should contain about nutrition and ICT along with printed media are significant tools in this regard.

Year 2014 was declared as year of Family farming. I think family based vegetable gardening, and fish farming at Rooftop, Indoor, and Veranda in urban and rural areas could be significant way of acquiring nutrition (fishes contain omega-3 fatty acids which are highly beneficial to health, ref:
. Domestic wastage could be used in there. This model will help to influence kids to do large scale environment friendly activities in future. In this context, I want to talk about keeping Tilapia fish at aquarium which can play positive role in economy of Bangladesh rather than amateur fishes in aquarium. We can campaign for to make a habit to producing fishes on rooftop tank, indoor tank/aquarium beside as usual fish production.

Not only ingredients of food but also merits & demerits should be mentioned on the packet of food, so that consumers could be acknowledged about the food and that packet should environment friendly as well ensure food safety.

Local consumer right activists, social activists, environmental activists, religious bodies, farmers, businessmen, journalists, engineers, doctors, standard testing institution, and law applying authority along with international bodies need work more closely to solve this problem.

All we have to believe, and campaign that we all reserve the right to consume adequate good food.

Best regards

Muhammad Ariful Haque
CEO, Kamfisht Universe Engineering
Partner, Global Water Partnership
Partner, Global Soil Partnership of FAO, UN