The Global Food Crisis: Law, Policy, and the Elusive Quest for Justice
Carmen G. Gonzalez
Seattle University School of Law
March 8, 2010
Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal, Vol. 13, 2010
The food crisis of 2008, the subsequent financial crisis, and the ongoing climate crisis have created new challenges to the attainment of global food security. This essay examines the historic and current practices that have contributed to food insecurity in developing countries, and recommends several steps that the international community might take to promote the fundamental human right to food. The essay begins by outlining the trade and aid policies that laid the foundation for food insecurity in the global South from colonialism until the early twenty-first century. It then examines the impact of the financial crisis and the climate crisis on food security – including speculative “bubbles” in agricultural commodity markets, the biofuels boom, and the growing number of “land grabs” (long-term leases or purchases of agricultural lands) by foreign investors in developing countries. The essay concludes by suggesting specific measures that the international community might take to promote food security through international law and regulation.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 18
Keywords: human rights law, food security, right to food, biodiversity, WTO, trade policy, environmental law, colonialism, post-colonial studies, IMF, World Bank, international law, climate change, biofuels, agricultural law, international trade and investment law, political economy
JEL Classification: F13, F18, F54, Q17, Q56, N50, O24, K32, K33
Date posted: March 9, 2010 ; Last revised: June 22, 2010
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