|International Vegetarian Union (IVU)|
Rome, Italy, May 28  - An international coalition promoting plant-based
solutions to world hunger proposed sweeping reforms to delegates to the
Food and Agriculture Organization meeting on world food security in Rome.
The purpose of the meeting was to repair a flawed process that was supposed
to reduce the number of chronically hungry people in the world by half
by the year 2015.
The coalition's position paper makes several creative points to clear
A key root cause of world hunger, aside from natural disasters, pests,
and wars, has been the insistence first by colonial powers and now by
corporate interests on production of cash crops for export, in place of
sufficient nutritious, safe, and accessible food for the local population.
International trade can not solve world hunger because it shifts limited
agricultural resources to production of cash crops for export, and people
who don't have access to food and other basic necessities of life have
nothing to trade.
Westem meat industries, facing public awareness of the health impacts
and strict environmental regulations at home, seek to exploit the natural
resources, cheap labor, and potential markets of low-income food-deficient
The definition of food security as the sustainable availability of sufficient
amounts of nutritious, safe, and accessible foodstuffs leads inevitably
to the choice of plant-based solutions and the avoidance of animal-based
Affluent nations should act upon their moral obligation to provide the
resources necessary to transport and distribute western food surpluses
to the world's hungry people and to help set up sustainable production
of sufficient nutritious, safe, and accessible locally grown plant-based
foods. They should reduce their own dependence on animal-based diets to
release foodstuffs for the hungry.
LIFDNs should scrutinize carefully all offers of resources to make sure
that these truly meet their needs, rather than those of western corporate
interests. They should insist on building up sustainable production of
sufficient nutritious, safe, and accessible locally grown plant-based
In addition to distributing the position paper to the delegates, coalition
activists also handed out leaflets at the FAO Rome headquarters. Additional
actions are planned in connection with the World Food Summit to be held
in Rome in November.
Members of the coalition include FARM
, a U.S. non-profit organization which has promoted sustainable, humane
farming practices since 1976, and two Italian groups, Societa
Vegetariana (Milan) and Progetto
Vivere Vegan (Florence).