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speaking up. John Peck, hero

Posted: May 28 2011

Greetings,There has been some discussion expressing concerns about the concept of food sovereignty possibly being used to deny food to those who really need it.
Actually, that would be a fundamental violation of food sovereignty since this concept defends access to healthy, nutritious, culturally appropriate food as a human right, and is opposed to the notion of using food as a weapon or even treating food as a commodity.
If food sovereignty was widely applied, it would also prohibit the current phenomenon of land grabbing and prevent runaway market speculation in food/land which had contributed to the current global food crisis.  For instance, it has been estimated that up to 60% of the trading in agricultural commodities at the CME/BOT is now conducted by those who have no stake in agriculture.
Food sovereignty would also stipulate that farmers have the right to produce for their domestic market first, and that all farmers and farmworkers deserve a parity price/living wage.  Taxpayer subsidies for certain commodity crops are just another form of welfare for corporate agribusiness and lead to global commodity dumping which undermines domestic food self sufficiency.
Unfortunately, denial of food to the poor and hungry IS implied by the concept of food security as originally popularized by Henry Kissinger before a 1974 FAO conference during the height of the Cold War and later elaborated by Nixon's "get big or get out" USDA Sec. Earl Butz.
To find out more, check out the "What is Food Sovereignty?" factsheet on the Family Farm Defenders website or visit the website for La Via Campesina (FFD is a member of LVC).
Thanks - John
John E. Peck - Executive Director, Family Farm Defenders

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