G8 and G20 Summits - Food Sovereignty Coalition launches mobilization
campaign: The right to eat before the right to trade

LONGUEUIL, QC, June 25 /CNW Telbec/ - Taking advantage of the G8 and G20 Summits in Toronto, the Food Sovereignty Coalition is warning the leaders of these countries about the global food disorder and is calling upon them to learn a lesson from it. Consequently, the Coalition is launching a mobilization campaign, the objective being to convince the G20 leaders that governments of the world should do everything possible to regain control of their national and the world's food systems, where failures are already afflicting a third of humanity.

"As host, Canada must show strong international leadership by actively promoting a commercial trade exception for food and agriculture, and by working for the recognition of the rights of people to their food sovereignty, in the same way it did for a cultural exception at UNESCO," declared the Coalition president, Christian Lacasse. "Stephen Harper and his G20 colleagues must devote as much energy and conviction to bring the world's food system under control as they are presently investing for the international financial system," added Jean-Paul Faniel, the Coalition's vice-president and coordinator of the Table de concertation sur la faim et le développement social of Metropolitan Montreal.

In this regard, the Food Sovereignty Coalition invites citizens to go to its Facebook page: Coalition souveraineté alimentaire/Food Sovereignty/Soberania Alimantaria and become a "fan", to show their support for its mobilization campaign entitled "The right to eat before the right to trade." The Coalition also invites web surfers to visit its new website www.nourrirnotremonde.org, where they may send messages to the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, and to the leaders of the G20 countries.

It should be remembered that hunger has risen to unparalleled levels in the world, with 1.1 billion people starving, while at the same time 1.2 billion citizens are overweight and will increasingly occupy our hospital beds if the food system is allowed to continue, without controls, its never-ending "conquest for markets." Added to these social issues are the numerous environmental problems, because the present food system, which is very energy-consuming, tends to encourage specialization of agriculture by territory, thus increasing food transportation and the emission of greenhouse gases, in addition to undermining the plant and animal biodiversity that nourishes the planet.

Hence, similar to the global financial crisis, these food, medical and environmental crises are the result of an ideological market deregulation, in which the food system is caught up. According to the Coalition's organizers, the leaders of the G8 and G20 countries have a duty to take action.

"Because of sound regulations, Canadian banks have been the most successful in weathering the global recession, thus saving their government the astronomical sums that others were forced to inject into their banking sectors. In the same manner, a sustainable, equitable and universal food system must also be governed by increased market supervision, not less," added Lacasse. The accession to such a system requires that fundamental human rights - the right to food, to decent work, to health, to a healthy environment - take precedence over the World Trade Organization's trading rights. "The problem is not trade per se - but rather that it is being raised to a higher level than human rights. Moreover, this strengthened governance must necessarily recognize the people's right to their food sovereignty and autonomy," affirmed Faniel.

Created in 2008, the mission of the Food Sovereignty Coalition is to promote national State measures and international agreements that would allow populations the right to define their food and agricultural policies within a framework that respects human rights and the right of countries to establish their national food security based upon their own territories and resources.


For further information: For further information: and source: Frédéric Paré, agr., Coordinator, Food Sovereignty Coalition, Telephone: 450 679-0540, ext. 8870 or 8286, Cell: 514-717-8870

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