| 07-09-2018

Mexico: Renewed hope for putting an end to widespread malnutrition

The alarming food situation in the United States of Mexico may have the opportunity to improve as a new Senate takes office.

The serious malnutrition crisis and a lack of access to adequate food have drawn international attention to Mexico. According to the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy, the increasingly critical nutrition situation affects 28 million people in Mexico, thereby also increasing cases of non-communicable diseases. Between 2009 and 2015 alone, over half a million people died from diabetes. 

Considering the abovementioned facts and the unfavorable legal context, any hope of change is pinned on the draft decree which includes the Right to Adequate Food Law. This decree was approved on April 30, 2015 by the Chamber of Deputies of the National Congress and sent to the Senate on this same date.

Granted constitutional standing six years ago, the right to food is a pending issue the State must address for those demographics in vulnerable situations*.

An approval of this law would entail compliance with the final observations of the Committee of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which on March 29, 2018, voiced concern about the "high levels of malnutrition and food insecurity, and on the other hand, increasing levels of overweight and obese people, affecting the effective enjoyment of the right to adequate food". The Committee recommended that the State of Mexico formulate "a comprehensive national strategy to protect and promote the right to adequate food." 

Such action would also fulfill the recommendations made by Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter, after his 2011 visit. Among his recommendations, the rapporteur underscores that "a framework law on the right to food could establish how to detect new threats against the right to adequate food as soon as possible ... [And] provide an appropriate legislative foundation for existing social programs, in particular food aid programs, as well as aid programs for agricultural producers."

As the new members join the Senate of the Republic of Mexico, FIAN International and its section in Mexico have renewed hope and urge the legislators to join the fight and put an end to the current bleak situation. 

NOTES TO EDITORS:

*Especially indigenous peoples and communities, pregnant and lactating women, infants or preschool-age children, elderly people, people with disabilities that are unable to care for themselves, sick people in destitute situations, migrants, stateless persons, refugees and people affected by disasters or by situations considered food emergencies.