Bolsonaro shuts down National Council for Food Security and Nutrition
The decision implies a huge step back for a country that until 2014 was still listed on FAO´s Hunger Map
On January 1st, 2019, Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro issued Provisional Measure No. 870, which, among numerous decisions, it repeals provisions in the Brazilian Organic Law on Food and Nutrition Security (Losan). The most significant consequence of this decision is the extinction of the National Council for Food Security and Nutrition (CONSEA).
Since its creation, the CONSEA has served as a space for dialogue between representatives from diverse sectors of Brazilian society and government. The inclusion of the demands, experiences, and proposals of civil society into the process of improvement and formulation of public policies related to the realization of the Human Rights to Adequate Food has proven to be remarkably successful.
When in 2014, FAO removed Brazil from its Hunger Map, CONSEA's experience received international praise, positioning Brazil as an inspiration for many other countries. Besides its efforts to fight hunger, the Brazilian model is also a reference regarding actions to deal with the rise of obesity and other non-communicable diseases. Two rising threats for public health in Latin America.
Since the authorities announced the shut down many civil society organizations and Human Rights defenders have mobilized to demand a review of the decision by the Brazilian government. Their efforts have also expanded beyond national frontiers, appealing to international solidarity to increase pressure over the local authorities.