TNN | May 24, 2017, 05.19 AM IST
Several paediatricians, nutritionists and public health activists wrote to the Niti Aayog stating that SUN, “while claiming to support governments in taking the lead in policy setting, in reality, facilitated the entry of businesses into the policy space”. Even as SUN’s efforts to persuade India to join it have not been very successful, Maharashtra joined the movement in 2014 and Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand in 2016. SUN coordinator Gera Verburg of Netherlands is expected to meet Niti Aayog officials this week.
They pointed out that “such participation creates conflicts of interests and favours market-guided measures that ultimately result in the increase of food insecurity,” and added that it goes against the concept of food sovereignty. Of the 58 countries in the SUN network, over 40 are from Africa. Though SUN — started in 2010 — claims to be a global movement, it has only aided recipient countries. The letter to Niti Aayog stated: “We cannot see how the Government of India – or any other government claiming to uphold democratic principles – can allow themselves to be accountable to transnational corporations or philanthropic foundations rather than their citizens. Nor can we see how effective nutrition and public health policies can be adopted if consensus must first be reached with transnational food corporations.”