The Right to Food

Food safety is a shared responsibility

5 June 2020,  Rome- Food safety is important to enable people to enjoy their right to food. “We all need safe, nutritious, accessible and affordable food”, FAO Director-General of FAO Qu Dongyu, underscored in his video message on occasion of the World Food Safety Day.  “Food security and food safety are basic rights of human beings”, he added.

The failure to ensure food is safe to consume has far ranging impact. Each year one in ten people fall ill as a result of eating contaminated food resulting in disease, loss of income and even death - WHO estimates that around 125,000 children under 5 lose their lives annually due to the consumption of unsafe food. 

Food safety is an essential part of the right to adequate food. Guaranteed by international human rights conventions, it is a vital factor in ensuring people have food security and adequate nutrition. The Right to Food Guidelines “aim to guarantee the availability of food in quantity and quality sufficient to satisfy the dietary needs of individuals; physical and economic accessibility for everyone, including vulnerable groups, to adequate food, free from unsafe substances and acceptable within a given culture; or the means of its procurement”.

Particularly, Guideline 9 calls on States “to take measures to ensure that all food, whether locally produced or imported, freely available or sold on markets, is safe and consistent with national food safety standards”.

About the World Food Safety Day

The second observance of the World Food Safety Day is celebrated on 7 June 2020. It draws attention and inspires action to help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks, contributing to food security, human health, economic prosperity, agriculture, market access, tourism and sustainable development.

This year is also about promoting awareness on the shared responsibility between governments, producers and consumers to ensure food safety.

Keywords: Food security and nutrition

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