The Law For
By Vandana Shiva
22 February, 2005
Food laws and Food Safety for Indias diverse and local food
The Government has
drafted a Food Safety and Standards Bill 2005 as an Integrated
Food Law which has been prepared with the intention to be contemporary,
comprehensive, and ensure better consumer safety through food safety
management systems and settling standards based on science and transparency
as also meeting the dynamic requirements of international trade and
Indian Food Trade and Industry. Clearly, the law has been designed to
lubricate international trade and the expansion of the global agribusiness.
Consumer health, nutrition, and food culture are not even mentioned
as objectives of the integrated food law.
PFA needs strengthening,
The case in the
Indian Supreme Court filed by the Centre for public interest litigation
shows how Coke and Pepsi are violating the Prevention of Food Adulteration
Acts. We need strengthening the PFA, not diluting it or dismantling
it through a new Food Law which floods India with toxics in foods and
replaces our strict PFA and our natural food systems with toxic processed
food. That is why we must reject the integrated food law which through
Article 102 (overriding effect of this Act over all other food related
of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent
therewith contained any other law for the time being in force or in
any instrument having effect by virtue of any law other than this Act.
In effect, the Food
Safety Law 2005 is a dismantling of the PFA. It is in effect the legalizing
of adulteration of our entire food system with toxic chemicals and industrial
There is no reference
in the objectives to most distinctive aspects of Indias food systems
indigenous science, cultural diversity and economic livelihoods
in local food provisioning. Ninety nine per cent of Indias food
is processed naturally and locally for local consumption and sale. Our
science of food is based on Ayurveda, not the reductionist science which
has treated unhealthy food as safe. This free economy that
serves local community is governed by community control, and local culture,
is now to be regulated by the centralized rules and standards appropriate
for a 1% industrialized large scale manufacture. The integrated
Food Law is a law to dismantle our diverse, decentralized food
We need stronger
food safety laws, especially in the context of toxics in food and the
introduction of GMOs in food crops. The Prevention of Food Adulteration
Act needs to be strengthened, not substituted by the proposed law.
systems produce food hazards and disease
The case of Coca
Cola and Pepsi Cola selling soft drinks with phosphoric acid, ethylene
glycol, and huge amounts of sugar or High Fructose Corn Syrup shows
that industrial food producers need to be regulated with strict safety
laws designed through democratic participation. The report of the Joint
Parliamentary Committee following the disclosure of pesticides in soft
drinks by the Centre for Science and Environment, as well as recent
studies published in a large number of medical journals have clearly
indicated that soft drink manufacturers have been using significant
quantities of very harmful and toxic chemicals in their drinks in order
to make them more attractive and addictive. They have been clearly pushing
their sales and profits at the cost of public health. The sustained
attempt by the Coke-Pepsi companies to refuse to disclose the contents
and ingredients of their drinks, is clear Coke-Pepsi are refusing to
abide by the order of the Rajasthan High Court ordering Coke-Pepsi to
disclose the contents of their drinks (including pesticides) on Coke-Pepsi
labels, and instead resorting to endless review petitions and appeals.
In fact the requirement to disclose the ingredients of all packaged
food items on their labels has been there in the Prevention of Food
Adulteration rules for a long time. The fact that it has not been enforced
again shows how Coke-Pepsi subvert and undermine our national laws.
It is now known
that most soft drinks contain an extremely toxic brew of chemicals which
are now known to be very harmful to human health. Apart from pesticides,
the chemicals which are deliberately added include large quantities
of phosphoric Acid (added to give them bite), caffeine (added
to make them addictive), large quantities of sugar (to make it extra
sweet), ethylene glycol (an extremely toxic and freeze compound added
to allow them to be drunk extra chilled at sub zero temperatures)
and Carbon Dioxide.
Food safety is a
growing concern with the industrialisaiton and globalisation of food.
Food related diseases have spread.
As Tim Lang, Professor
of Food Policy at City University, London reports, incidence of
food borne disease has in fact risen during the era of the productionist
Paradigm. In West Germany cases of infections S.Enterites rose from
11 per 100,000 head of population in 1963 to 193 per 100,000 in 1999,
in England and Wales formal notifications of the same disease rose from
14,253 cases in 1987 to 86,528 in 2000.
Food hazards have
increased with industrialization of food production and processing.
As Colin Tudge observes the modern food supply chain is convoluted
and so long that it allows endless opportunities for malpractice of
all kinds including many that beggar the imagination of those
who are not criminally inclined. The supply chain is impossible to police
because it is so complex, and because policing is so expensive (and
nobody wants to pick up the bill certainly not the governments
who win votes by keeping the price of food down). Sometimes though,
it is not at all easy to draw a line between outright villainy (like
the adding of contaminants) from the standard, legitimate practices
of the modern food industry.
On a global scale,
new diseases are emerging and more virulent forms of old diseases are
growing as globalisation spreads factory farming and industrial processing
and agriculture. Disease epidemics and food hazards are the outcome
of food production methods based on hazardous inputs and processes.
In the U.K., more
than 2 million cattle were found to be infected with Bovine Spongiform
Encephelopathy (BSE) -- the mad cow disease. By August 2002, 133 people
had died from variant Creutz feld-Jacob Disease (VCJD) - the human equivalent
of BSE .
New strains of Ecoli
0157 have led to 75 million cases of food poisoning annually in the
US, resulting in 325,000 hospitalisation and 5000 deaths.
The Swine fever
in Asia led to killing of millions of pigs. A newly emerged Nipah Strain
killed 100 pig farm workers, infected 150 with non-fatal encephalitis
and led to the slaughter of a million pigs to control the disease .
The Avian flu has
already led to human deaths and the killing of millions of ducks and
chicken. The first sightings of the H5N1 virus behind the Avian influenza
came in November. The epidemic has spread to 10 countries. The disease
has jumped from chickens to humans and killed eight people in Vietnam
and Thailand. In 1997 the H5N1 Strain killed six people in Hong Kong
technologies have undergone two generations of changes over the last
few decades. The first shift in food production technologies was the
introduction of chemicals in agriculture under the banner of the Green
Revolution. Toxic chemicals used in warfare were deployed in agriculture
in times of peace as synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Agriculture
and food production became dependent on "Weapons of Mass Destruction".
The Bhopal disaster in which a leak from a pesticide plant killed thousands
in 1984, and has killed nearly 30,000 since then is the most tragic
reminder of how agriculture has become dependent on war technologies
designed to kill.
will introduce new food hazards.
New traits of viral
promoter, antibiotic resistance markers being introduced in GM foods
need public approval and strict monitoring for safety.
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho in
Genetic Engineering: Dream or Nightmare? (1999) has identified
the following risks to human health from genetically engineered foods.
> Toxic or allergenic
effects due to transgene products or interactions of transgene with
spread of antibiotic resistance marker genes to gut bacteria and to
spread of virulence among pathogens across species by horizontal gene-transfer
> Potential for
vector-mediated horizontal gene transfer and recombination to create
new pathogenic bacteria and viruses.
> Potential of
vector-mediated infected cells after ingestion of transgenic foods,
to regenerate disease viruses, or for the vector to insert itself into
the cells genome causing harmful or lethal effects including cancer.
While Toxic and
GM foods need stricter laws, local, natural processing in small dhabas,
small outlets cannot be subjected to industrial regulation, both because
they are not a source of toxic threat and because they are not centralized
producers needing centralized regulation.
Rules ? Whose Standards?
However, while food
hazards grow, food safety laws are being shaped which deregulate large
corporations and over-regulate the small scale self organized economy.
Such industrial food safety standards promote large scale globalised
production, and act against local foods. These laws are also the basis
of the Sanitary and Phyto Sanitary Agreement of WTO. An example of these
inappropriate standards was used to destroy Indias diverse, decentralize
edible oil industry.
In August 1998,
a new packaging order was introduced for edible oils on grounds of food
safety which shut down millions of small scale local oil mills and local
edible oils like mustard. Combined with WTO trade rules of removing
import restrictions, the laws of false food safety flooded Indias
markets with oil from genetically engineered soyabeans.
India has used the
coconut, groundnut, linseed, mustard, sunflower, and sesame for edible
oil. Biodiversity has gone hand in hand with cultural diversity.
The main consequence
of the mustard oil ban and the ban on sale of edible oils in unpackaged
forms is the destruction of our oilseed biodiversity and the diversity
of our edible oils and food cultures. It is also a destruction of economic
democracy and economic freedom to produce oils locally, according to
locally available resources, and locally appropriate food culture.
oilseeds are high in oil content, they can be processed at household
or community level, with ecofriendly, decentralized and democractic
Soyabean oil is
based on concentration of poor, from the seed, to trade, to processing
and packaging. Monsanto controls seeds through its patents and its ownership
of seed corporations. Cargill, Continental and other trading giants
control the trade and milling operations internationally. Because of
its low oil content, the extraction of soyabean oil needs heavy processing
which is environmentally unfriendly and unsafe for health.
Pseudo safety standards
destroy safe and healthy oils and have flooded the market with unhealthy
Mustard oil and
our indigenous oilseeds symbolize freedom for nature, for our farmers,
our diverse food cultures and the rights of poor consumers.
Soyabean oil symbolizes
concentration of power and the colonization of nature, cultures, farmers
of oil prices and the restrictions put on indigenous oilseed processing
and sales are forcing Indians to consume soyabean oil and thus further
strengthen a monoculture and monopoly system.
Free trade and economic
globalisation has been projected as economic freedom for all. However,
as the case of the mustard oil crisis and soyabean imports reveals,
so called free trade is based on many levels of destruction of economic
freedom of small producers, processors and poor consumers.
Small farmers are
loosing their freedom to grow the diverse oilseeds adapted to their
soils, ecosystems and cultures. With new patent laws, they will be forced
to pay royalties for seeds and will be further pushed into poverty.
of eco-friendly and safe edible oil are being rendered illegal through
new laws like the packaging order which is in effect an
instrument of market take over of big industry.
Further, while the
rhetoric of free trade is that the government should step out of business,
the decision on free import of soyabean, the packaging order and the
proposed Food Safety Act reveal how the government is a major player
in the transfer of production from small scale decentralized systems
to large scale, centralized systems under monopoly control.
The state in fact
is the backbone of the free trade order. The only difference is that
instead of regulating big business, it leaves big business free, and
declares small producers and diverse cultures illegal so that big business
has monopoly control on the food system.
The asymmetric treatment
of the small and the big is also evident in the regulation of food safety.
While the government
reacted immediately to ban mustard oil, it has done nothing to prevent
the dumping of toxic, genetically engineered soyabean. Adulteration
in various forms undertaken by the global players gets protection rather
than punishment from governments, in India, in the U.S., and across
the world. This is why the PFA is being dismantled to legalise adulteration
with toxic chemicals and toxic genes.
The highest level
political and economic conflicts between freedom and slavery, democracy
and dictatorship, diversity and monoculture have thus entered into the
simple acts of buying edible oils and cooking our food. Will the future
of Indias edible oil culture be based on mustard and other edible
oil seeds or will it become part of the globalised monoculture of soyabean
with its associated but hidden food hazards.
In Europe too the
food safety laws were threatening small producers of typical foods.
For example, Slow Food organised half a million signatures that forced
the Italian government to amend a law that would have forced even the
smallest food maker to conform to the pseudo hygienic standards that
suit corporations like Kraft Foods.
Need for pluralism
to protect food livelihoods and diverse food cultures
Local natural organically
processed food is not the same as chemically processed food which is
different from genetically engineered food. Different foods have different
safety risks and need different safety laws and different systems of
management. That is why in Europe there are different standards for
organic, for industrial and genetically engineered foods. Organic standards
are set by organic movements while the standards for genetic engineering
are set at European level through the Novel Food laws. There is in addition
the movement to protect cultural diversity of food, which is destroyed
when industrial food processing standards are applied. Cultural diversity
is protected through unique and typical foods.
Carving out these spaces of freedom in the face of a globalised industrial
food economy has been the contribution of the Slow Food Movement. These
standards are cultural, based on indigenous science and community control
not industrial science and controlled by central government
manipulated by Food giants like Cargill, ConAgra, Lever, Nestle, Phillip
Morris and Gene Giants like Monsanto.
India, like Europe,
needs 3 different laws governed at different levels for different food
systems based on different production processes which produce different
1. An organic processing
law for local, natural small scale food processing governed by gramsabhas,
panchayats and local communities. In cities this could be based on licensing
by resident welfare associations as Urban Panchayats, and local municipalities.
Community control through citizen participation is the real guarantee
2. An industrial
processing law which already exists and is the Prevention of Food Adulteration
Act. This could be updated to deal with new food hazards. It should
definitely not be dismantled.
3. A GMO food law
which controls imports, labeling, segregation, traceability etc. This
is the new law that the consumers need. This law should be drafted by
the Central Government, but states and local communities should be free
to introduce stricter standards. If regions want to be GMO free, this
should be allowed under the principles of decentralized democracy.
However, the central
government cannot try to license the last dhaba in India. It will unleash
the worst form of license and inspector raj. It will establish a food
facism based on food mafia, serving global corporations. It will destroy
our food freedom, livelihoods, our food safety, our food diversity.
The proposed integrated food safety law will be used to criminalise
every tiny dhabawala and street vendor who are not introducing obesity
and diabetes, cancer and heart disease in our society. They are providing
safe, affordable dal and roti to millions of working people.
food systems need different levels of management for safety, it is totally
inappropriate to lump together all kinds of food organic, industrial,
GMOs into one category as is done in Def 3 (k) which treat all food
providers as the same. Food business means any undertaking,
whether for profit or not, and whether public or private, carrying out
any of the activities related to any stage of production, processing
and distribution of food and includes import, export and sale of food
and food service providers.
How food is processed
determines its quality, nutrition, safety. Home processed bread is not
the same as industrial bread. They are not like products
in the W.T.O. jargon. They are different products in terms of their
ecological content and public health impact. A factory chicken is not
the same as a free range chicken both in terms of animal welfare and
in terms of food quality and safety. A GMO corn is not the same as organic
corn. The former contains antibiotic resistance markers, viruses used
as promoters, and gene for producing toxins such as Bt. Regulating Bt.
corn for safety needs different systems than organic corn, factory farming
needs different regulatory processes than free-range chicken.
Pluralism of production
processes and products needs pluralism of laws and science appropriate
to the safety issues and governance systems that a product or production
need chemistry labs and chemists, GMOs need genetic I.D. Laws, organic
processing needs indigenous science and community control. The response
of government to the mustard oil contamination in 1998 was to demand
that every ghani have a lab, a chemist and must package oil. This response
was inappropriate for the scale and method of production. One million
ghanis were shut down, 20,000 small and tiny crushers were criminalized
by an inappropriate law that opened the flood gates for import of soy
oil. We cannot repeat the destruction unleashed by pseudo safety laws
in the edible oils sector in other sectors of our indigenous food economy
and food culture. We cannot replace safe systems with unsafe systems
through manipulated laws and rules which serve agribusiness, leave them
free to spread food hazards and disease, destroy our diverse foods and
substitute them with unhealthy, anti-nutritive, hazardous industrial
foods. We do not need to deregulate global trade and overregulate domestic
production. We need to regulate chemicals and GMOs through centralized
structures and regulate local, domestic food systems through local,
democratic, decentrlaised, participatory processes.
The principles of
food safety used in the proposed law are inappropriate to the indigenous
self-organised food systems of India Act 17 (b) states that the Food
Authority will take into account International Standards.
However, in the
case of GMOs, there are no International Standards. There are European
laws on novel foods and the absolute deregulation of GM foods in the
U.S. On May 13th 2003, the US together with Canada and Argentina challenged
Europes moratorium on GM crops and foods. Arguing that their GM
products were being unfairly discriminated against, they challenge the
precautionary principle in decision making about GM crops that is supposed
to be embodied into European decisionmaking. Bringing this case to the
WTO is another excuse to attack the use of the precautionary approach
in international law.
The new EU Regulations
take account of the EUs international trade commitments and of
the requirements of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety with respect
to obligations of importers. The EUs regulatory system for GMOs
authorization is in line with WTO rules: it is clear, transparent and
non-discriminatory. There is therefore no issue that the WTO needs to
Many countries are
now looking at the EU policy to develop their own policy. The US fears
that several countries will adopt a similar approach as the EU to regulate
GMOs and GM food and feed products. The new Swiss GM legislation, entered
into force on January 1st 2004, is a good example.
The Swiss law is
stricter than current EU legislation on the liability and co-existence
aspects. It is based on the precautionary principle and the polluter
pays principle (Article 1) and aims to protect health and security
of human beings, animals and environment. It also aims to permanently
maintain biological diversity and fertility of the soil and to allow
freedom of choice for consumers. The EU Moratorium represents the will
of its people not to be force-fed. It crystallizes (as the patent on
seeds still does) the worldwide mobilization of people against the reinterpretation
of national security and sovereignty to increase the global control
of US corporations over resources and market.
If Europe had not
suspended its approvals process in 1998, these would have been some
of the consequences:
> The indirect
effects of growing GM herbicide tolerant (HT) crops on farmland wildlife
would not have been taken into account. GM HT sugar/fodder beet and
spring oilseed rape now known to be damaging to farmland wildlife would
have been grown commercially in Europe.
> No requirement
for monitoring of environmental or human health effects would have been
introduced, maintaining the no evidence of harm claim for
> Consumers would
not have been able to make a choice not to eat products derived from
GM crops as the new labeling laws now allow for.
> There would
have been no traceability requirement for GM foods. If an adverse effect
had emerged, it would have been impossible to withdraw the product from
the market quickly and easily. Following BSE, traceability is a cornerstone
of European food safety systems.
diverse decentralized plural economy, a centralized integrated law is
inappropriate on many counts. Indigenous Gur and Mithai have no international
standards, they need indigenous standards. India must craft her laws
for her conditions. These laws must be appropriate to the level and
content which they address. One law for all food systems is a law that
privileges large-scale industrial commercial establishments and discriminates
and criminalizes the small, the local, the diverse.
Our kitchens and
dhabas, our cottage and household industry is being put in the same
category as Nestles Cargills and ConAgras massive super
industrial processing. Domestic and local consumption, including not
for profit food provisioning is being put in the same category
as imports of hazardous GMOs. This is not a science based contemporary
system. It is an obsolete, corrupt crude and coercive system proposed
by a corporate state to destroy 99% of our indigenous food processing
so that global agribusiness MNCs which have spread disease and ill health
control our entire food economy, destroying millions of livelihoods
and millennia of diverse gastronomic traditions.
The Right to
Information Vs Confidential Information
Instead of regulating
hazardous food industry like Coke and Pepsi, the Food Safety law is
in effect a law for deregulating hazardous industry. Article 14(5) on
Functions of Food Authority states:
The food Authority
shall not disclose or cause to be disclosed to third parties confidential
information that it receives for which confidential treatment has been
requested and has been acceded.
Coke and Pepsi are
hiding behind Trade Secrets to not disclose the ingredients of their
soft drinks to the Rajasthan High Court. Union Carbide hid behind Trade
Secrets to not disclose the nature of the gas leak in Bhopal and allowed
thousands to die and millions to be crippled. Food and health are too
important to be sacrificed to corporate confidentiality. The Right to
Information must be the basis of any Food Safety Law.
In the year 2004,
we need to learn from the food mistakes of the industrialized food systems.
Systems that have created Mad Cow Disease and unleashed an epidemic
of obesity and diabetes. These diseases of unhealthy processing are
not identified as food hazards in food safety laws, though
they are a hazard to health. That is why the proposed law is obsolete
it fails to take into account the diseases related to industrial
food processing which are creating ill health and should be treated
Law for Food
Facism : The License Permit Raj for the Food Economy
The Food Safety
and Standards Bill 2005 threatens to create a culture of Food
need chemical labs, genetically engineered foods need genetic I.D. labs,
but cooking fresh dal and roti does not need testing for toxic chemicals
and transgenes. The risk and safety standards for Lassi in a Dhaba and
a synthetic Milkshake at a Fast Food chain must be different. As Eric
Schlosser has reported in his best seller Fast Food Nation,
A typical artificial strawberry flavor, like the kind found in
a Buger King strawberry milk shake, contains the following ingredients:
amyl acetate, amyl butyrate, amyl valerate, anethol, anisyl formate,
benzyl acetate, benzyl isobutyrate, butyric acid, cinnamyl isobutyrate,
cinnamyl valeratge, cognac ssential oil diacetyl, dipropyl ketone, ethyl
acetate, ethyl amyl ketone, ethyl butyrate, ethyl cinnamate, ethyl heptanoate,
ethyl heptylate, ethyl lactate, ethyl methylphenylglycidate, ethyl nitrate,
ethyl propionate, ethyl valerate, heliotropin, hydroxyphenyl-2 butanone
(10 per cent solution in alcohol), a-ionone, isobutyl anthranilate,
isobutyl butyrate, lemon essential oil, maltol, 4-methylacetophenone,
methyl anthranilate, methyl benzoate, methyl cinnamate, methyl heptine
carbonate, methyl naphthyl ketone, methyl salicylate, mint essential
oil, neroli essential oil, nerolin, neryl isobutyrate, orris butter,
phenethyl alcohol, rose, rum ether, y-undecalactone, vanillin, an solvent.
We are better off
sticking to Lassi and treating these toxics as Food Adulterants under
PFA rather than allowing them into our food systems, and using the toxic
food culture of U.S. as the standard for pseudo safety. Risk Assessment
in the hands of centralized corruptible agencies is no protection for
consumers as the disease and health epidemic in the U.S. linked to over
processed, industrial foods shows. Even while the U.S. is at the epicenter
of the food related public health crises, the U.S. government is trying
to export its Food laws which deregulate the industry and over regulate
ordinary citizens and small enterprise. This deregulation of the big
and toxic and over regulation of the small and ecological is at the
core of Food Facism, which the proposed Integrated Food law tries to
introduce on the basis of the U.S. Model.
Firstly, it sets
up a coercive apparatus of centralized control, which lends itself to
corruption. It creates a license permit Raj in food when the rhetoric
is about ending it. A license and inspector raj controlled from Delhi
is a recipe for corruption. In the area of food, corruption could kill.
Secondly, it is
inappropriate to integrate what are in effect different
activities and different products. Small scale, local natural food processing
for largely local consumption use fresh foods is based on transparent
cooking, natural and organic processing without toxic chemicals in front
of the consumer. This cannot be measured with the same safety standards
as needed for large-scale processing with chemicals, or for foods containing
a particular challenge created by GMOs. IN a law for GM foods
it would have a place. However to demand that in Indias
self organized, informal, orally organized local food economy, every
food operator will have systems and procedures for traceability in which
all for this information to be made available to the competent authorities
is to kill small food providers with the burden of a corrupt and unwieldy
bureaucratic control (Article 27 on Traceability). The core of the Act
is bureaucratic control through a licence permit raj. Article 31(1)
states that no person shall manufacture, sell, stock, distribute or
exhibit for sale any article of food, including ready-to-serve food,
irradiated food except under a licence issued by the state Commissioner
of Food Safety or its authorized officer. Roasted peanuts or chanas,
and irradiated foods have been lumped in the same category of hazards.
A bharbuja (maker of roasted grains) and the Mumbai dabbawalas
will be burdened with the same licensing arrangements as a High Fructose
Corn Syrup factory of Cargill. This mix up between a small scale self
organized sector and a large scale industrialized food sector is the
most lethal aspect o the proposed law. Undemocratic, bureaucratically
designed, corporate driven food safety laws like the proposed law destroy
safe alternatives and promote unsafe industrial food production. According
to Colin Tudge overall, the food-safety laws of Britain are extensive
and intricate and more and more detailed, so that its becoming very
difficult even to keep a few chickens or pigs for local use, or to run
a village shop, or to sell cakes at the church bazaar. Men and women
in suits ow with nylon hats and clipboards descend like flies to point
out ways in which small farmers and traders could in theory poison their
customers. AT the same time, the government that makes these laws presides
over policies that seem designed expressly to maximize the spread of
In England where
local economies have been destroyed, pseudo safety laws prevent little
old ladies from selling their homemade cakes in churches for charity.
In India such laws would criminalise annadana, the langars
of gurudwaras, the zakat at the Mosques and Dargahs, and the bhandaras
which feed millions of poor people daily in temples, the livelihoods
of our chaiwalas and dhabawalas, the entire household and cottage industry
in food processing would be made illegal overnight, leading to the criminalisation
of our safe foods and legalisation of food crimes.
There is only one
system for food safety locally produced, freshly processed food
of which we have abundance in Indias non-industrial local
food systems. Pseudo hygiene and food safety laws that are designed
for the disease producing industrial, long distance convoluted system
of getting food from farms to tables will not produce safety. They will
produce poverty and unemployment by destroying millions of small-scale
livelihoods in food production and processing.
A modern food law
would recognize that our decentralized food economy enhances nutrition,
safety, culture and livelihoods. We need laws to protect our diverse
local food cultures from the disease causing homogenous, centralized
industrial food culture of the west. Our biodiversity and cultural diversity
of food have built robust localized food economies. Our skilled and
knowledgeable food processes are the future of food. We cannot allow
a law manipulated by global food giants, promoted by power hungry bureaucrats
to take away our food freedom and food sovereignty. We need a stronger
PFA. We do not need a food police from Delhi to destroy our rich food
culture through pseudo safety standards which serve global business.
We need society led, participatory, democratic systems to enrich our
food systems, promote health and nutrition and guarantee food safety.
Delhi needs to control the Monsantos, Coca Colas and Cargills, not our
dhabas and our kitchens. Let the government regulate agribusiness through
the PFA. We will regulate ourselves as community and civil society.
We will not be ruled through the law for food facism. We will shape
laws for our food freedom. This is our food sovereignty. This is our