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BMJ Glob Health. 2016 Jun 7;1(1):e000040. doi: 10.1136/bmjgh-2016-000040. eCollection 2016.

No right to food and nutrition in the SDGs: mistake or success?

Author information

BIOGOV Unit, Centre for Philosophy of Law and Earth and Life Institute, Université Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.
People's Health Movement, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.


Although the recently approved Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) explicitly mention access to water, health and education as universally guaranteed human rights, access to affordable and sufficient food is not given such recognition. The SDGs road map assumes that market mechanisms will suffice to secure nutritious and safe food for all. We question how and why the right to food has disappeared from such an international agreement and we will provide insights on the likely causes of this and the options to make good on such a regrettable omission. Analysis of political stances of relevant western stakeholders, such as the United States (US) and the European Union (EU), is also included.

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interests: JLVP has received funding from the Belgian Science Policy Office, under the project Food4Sustainability, and the European Commission, under the FP7 project BIOMOT and ERC Project GENCOMMONS. CS declares no conflicts of interest.

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