|Mexico : a ‘state of emergency’ to battle food poverty and obesity|
[21 June 2011] MEXICO CITY - At the invitation of the Mexican Government, Olivier De Schutter conducted a mission in Mexico from 13 to 20 June 2011. Speaking at the end of the mission, he called for a “state of emergency” in Mexico to battle both food poverty and obesity, and suggested that changes to the country’s agricultural policies could tackle the two problems simultaneously.
The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food said that some 19 million Mexicans are food insecure, “but at the same time, Mexico is one of the countries most severely affected by overweight and obesity, second only to the United States.”
Noting how the adoption of a right to food national strategy could overcome this paradox, he underlined that both undernutrition and overnutrition are the result of several factors, including monocropping and export-led agriculture at the expense of healthy and diverse diets, policies skewed towards the interests of rich farmers rather than smallholders, and marketing of energy-rich foods by companies.