On Right to Adequate Food and Relevant Concepts from the Legal Perspective
November 01,2017   By:CSHRS

On Right to Adequate Food and Relevant Concepts from the Legal Perspective

SUN Juanjuan*

Abstract: As a fundamental right, the right to adequate food entitles everyone to live with dignity by having access to adequate food that is safe and nutritious. However, the current food system features unequal food production and distribution. To remedy this situation, certain concepts have been proposed to realize the right to adequate food, including food security, food safety, food sovereignty, food democracy and food exception. This paper analyses these concepts from the perspective of the right to adequate food and how they can be incorporated into legislation to help realize and protect this right.

Keywords: right to adequate food ♦  food security ♦  food safety ♦  food sovereignty

For humans, food is a basic need. But besides this fundamental function, food also satisfies people's desire for a higher quality of life, and is a bearer of cultural traditions. Pursuing this line of thought, we can posit that people have a basic right to food as a guarantee of life, as well as develop relevant concepts relating to "food" through which this right can be better realized. The English word "food" can be translated into three different Chinese concepts: shiwu (food), shipin (foodstuff and food products), and liangshi (grain or corps), which have different connotations and denotations with regard to the right to adequate food.1 This paper will first of all exploring these three concepts, namely food, foodstuff and grain, then proceed with the legislative goals to be realized, including food security, food safety, food sovereignty and food democracy, and then show how the right to adequate food relates to other human rights.

Ⅰ. The Basic Right of Access to "Food"

As mentioned above, there are a variety of Chinese words for food including shiwu (food), shipin (foodstuff), and liangshi (grain), which have different connotations and denotations. Food and foodstuff are often used interchangeably, and grain in the strictest sense refers to the most basic foodstuff satisfying the physiological need of the human beings.2 As a basic human right, should the right to food be translated to shiwuquan (the right to food) or shipinquan (the right to foodstuff)? Or even liangshiquan (the right to grain)?

A. Definitions of food, foodstuff and grain

The significance of defining "food", "foodstuff" and "grain" is as follows:

First, "food" in its original sense of things people and animals eat can be understood as "natural stuff" that exists in nature without human intervention, for example, plants, animals and fungi, etc.3 By means of collecting, fishing and hunting humans have ready food, while domesticating animals and growing plants provide humans with a more stable source of natural foods.4 With the intervention of human activities, foods have become "artificial products". In other words, primary edible products5 are free from any processing or subject only to primary rough processing that is not supposed to transform their natural state or chemical nature.

Second, different from natural foods and or the limited processing of primary edible products, intensive technological processing may transform primary edible products into new food products that are processed, manufactured and sold.6 Comparatively speaking, processed food products constitute a larger part of human consumption, and the value of the international trade in processed food products is much higher than that of primary edible farm products because consumer want more convenient, diversified and high-quality food products.7

Third, grain refers to farm produce for human consumption that are mainly staples such as cereals, potatoes and beans, and cereals including rice, wheat and corn.8 For this reason, "taking grain as the key link" is significant for each country, which means that the supply of grain and the guarantee of the supply is the basis for the stability of a country. History shows that agriculture is the foundation for a national economy, and the supply of grain is the foundation for survival and social stability, since famines tend to result in war and social turmoil.9 However, it should be noted that the major categories of grain may vary according to different geological, environmental and climatic conditions, agricultural resources and dietary traditions. Wheat is mainly grown in Europe, North America and Oceania, rice is mainly grown in Asia, while corn is the major crop in Africa and Latin America.

To summarize, with the involvement of humans in food production and processing, as well as the development of the catering industry, food has become an industry, therefore, food is defined in an abstract way in the international community as any edible substance for human beings, regardless of whether it is unprocessed, partly processed or processed, including drinks, gum, and any produced, manufactured or processed substance used in "edible substances", excluding cosmetics or tobacco, or any substance used only for medical use.10 Correspondingly, grains, non-crop farm produce, processed or manufactured food products and restaurant delicacies all satisfy this definition of food. Against such a background, the continuous use of the concept of "food" is of the following significance: First, "food" (shiwu) is more about the relationship between human beings and nature. It is a fact that the involvement of humans and technological factors enhance the controllability of the agriculture sector, however, today, food still relies on the development and utilization of natural resources, with attendant problems such as environmental pollution, resource deterioration due to the intervention into the nature by humans, and these problems pose a threat to the production of food and aggravate the food security situation. Second, "food" (shiwu) emphasizes more on the non-market value of food, for example, the protection of the environment and natural resources during the above process, or passing down farming culture in maintaining traditional farms. More importantly, food is also embedded with human values. Although scientific and technological breakthrough have brought revolutionary progress to agriculture, food and health, legislation during the development of the food industry has mostly been enacted to protect the interests of the advantaged, which calls for the laws to be enacted based on the right to existence and respect for human dignity.11

As for grain, Lester Brown in 1995 raised the question of who is going to support the Chinese.12 The Chinese government in its White Paper on Grain Production in China pointed that grain production in the country should guarantee the people in this country can be fed. Although there exists geographical difference in terms of category of crops, the significance to human beings is common in the sense that the basic dietary needs of humans should be secured through the supply of grain.

B. Relevant concepts relating to "access to food"

For this reason, in translating concepts about food into Chinese, we should accurately choose from the terms shiwu (food), shipin (foodstuff), and liangshi (grain) to reflect the significance embedded in those concepts. Comparatively speaking, in "shipin" (foodstuff), and introduce laws and regulations in which food safety is a basic requirement for all foods along with food democracy which means that consumers have access to information and enjoy freedom of choice. However, "food" may embody more aspects when the right to adequate food takes into account nature and culture as well as solicitude for human well-being, which is also the reason that the right to food has been developed as a basic right. As for grain, it is related to the elimination of hunger and malnutrition, as well as people's livelihoods. There is also the concept of food sovereignty that stresses the self-determination of production and the self-sufficiency of people engaged in farming, and the concept of food exception, derived from notion that liberalization of the grain trade may poses a threat to guaranteeing the basic human right to life.

C. The right to adequate food

When we come to the basic right to food, both Article 25.1 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights recognize food-related rights through the right to adequate living standards, that is the right to food consisting of "exception of hunger" and "right to adequate food".13 As a social right,14 the right to food shall be fulfilled by a country in a progressive way by shouldering the obligation of respecting, protecting and realizing this right. In short, the state shall first respect the right of individuals to adequate food and avoid any measure that may hinder people's enjoyment of this right. Furthermore, the state shall protect an individual's right to acquire adequate food and ensure that this right shall not be deprived by any other individual or enterprise, and shall facilitate this right by offering direct access to adequate food to special groups of people or during times of scarcity. Comparatively speaking, although the state may realize the right to food according to the situation of the nation, concrete measures must be taken, among which is bottom line of ensuring people are free from hunger. In fact, freedom from hunger was raised independent of the right to adequate food as a way to address grain shortages, and the recognition of this right in the Human Rights Covenant was expected to further support the initiative of freedom from hunger introduced by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in 1960s by enhancing the legal mandatory power of such a right.15 The state shall further ensure that its citizens enjoy various aspects of the right to adequate food as early as possible, that is to say that every man, women, child, by him- or herself or together with others shall enjoy real and economic conditions or means to have access to adequate food at any time.16

For the key concept in this paper "the right to adequate food", the emphasis of the Chinese translation is put on the understanding of the term "adequate". Understood from the origin of the term, the term refers to a balance between need and satisfaction, and the extent of the satisfaction shall be limited to meeting the need rather than creating satisfaction, thus the right to adequate food means having sufficient and enough within a certain limitation and the Chinese translation of it should embody this.17 Therefore, for this particular right the three key elements are adequacy, availability and accessibility.18 The first requirement for an adequacy of food is to solve the problem of hunger and malnutrition in terms of quantity, at the same time it should ensure the quality is such that it does not endanger people’s health. Next, when acquiring food, an individual should not only consider his own physiological need but also consider the cultural appropriateness of the food.19 Finally, adequacy should be sustainable, which means that there should be enough food to meet the right to adequate food of future generations. There are two ways of making food available to people, including acquiring food through natural processes such as growing crops or rearing livestock, or purchasing edible farm products or foodstuffs via the supply chain. As for accessibility, on the one hand, an individual shall ensure that his economic condition may suffice to purchase the necessary food without affecting other rights such as the right to a home, clothes and even the right to education. On the other hand, it should be stressed that everyone shall be entitled to a supply of food, especially vulnerable groups such as children and the elderly or those enduring special hardships, such as at a time of a natural disaster. Furthermore, the right to adequate food includes the right to adequate nutrients, the right to food safety as well as the right to food dignity.20

However, the fulfilment of the right to adequate food is well below expectations. On the one hand, due to the reality that bigger economic participants in the system of foodstuff production and circulation may better utilize the resources and market than their smaller counterparts and consumers. On the other hand, the developed countries may better utilize the trade rules than developing economies, which may result in a negative impact on the right of others to adequate food. Therefore, in order to strengthen the fulfilment of the right, a lot of concepts have been generated and developed, the following is a summary of them.

First, in terms of the adequacy referred to in the right to adequate food, food security and food safety are both goals to be pursued, the former emphasizes the supply of grains and non-grains, and the latter emphasizes the prevention of health risks resulting from the consumption of food.

Second, in terms of the "availability" implied in the right to adequate food, the realization of such a right is conducive to the coordinated integration of other rights since availability emphasizes the means of securing food rather than the food itself, water, other natural resources, and information. Thus the proposition of food sovereignty stresses self-sufficiency based upon the right to food and the right to land on the part of disadvantaged people engaged in farming, especially farmer families, while food democracy is expected to guarantee the freedom of choice of food on the basis of the right to information of consumers.

Third, in terms of the "accessibility" in the right to adequate food, the problems of accessibility are usually due to unfair distribution after the food enters into circulation rather than inadequacy of production, which has put attention on the conflict between the right to trade and the right to adequate food. In view of this, the exception of grain is targeted at protection of the non-market value of food safety, farming culture and food diversity guarantees and prioritized by revision of trade policies and trade rules under the proved presumption of "exception of culture".

Ⅱ. Food Security and Food Safety

From the perspective of the adequacy of food, food security is expected to guarantee the sufficient supply of grains and non-grain food to eliminate hunger and solve the malnutrition problem in terms of the quantity of food. Food safety means ensuring that the food produced can meet the minimum needs of dietary safety. With the transformation of agriculture, food processing technology as well as consumption preferences, public awareness of food security and food safety has been set on a progressive course.

A. Food security

Internationally speaking, the concept of food security is relevant to the development dilemma of the right to adequate food. The latter is still uncertain in terms of its concept, for example, the criteria for "adequacy", and in terms of the enforcement procedure, a professional oversight body was not set up until the establishment of the Committee of Economic, Social and Cultural rights in 1987. Therefore, in order to cope with the hunger problem around the world, especially during the global grain crisis from 1972 to 1974, the FAO raised the concept of food security.21 The Universal Declaration on the Eradication of Hunger and Malnutrition was adopted at the World Food Summit in 1974, indicating that on the one hand countries should shoulder the responsibility of eradicating hunger and malnutrition in order to secure food security, increasing the production of grain through agricultural development. On such a basis, the fair distribution of grains among states shall be promoted. On the other hand, international aid projects should be carried out offering help to countries that cannot meet their own needs in terms of food production and supply. As for a proper definition of food security, the World Food Summit in 1996 reiterated that every person has the right to safe and nutritious food, and food security was indicated in the Rome Declaration on World Food Security, which stated food security could only be achieved when all people at any time were satisfied materially and economically with enough, safe and nutritious food to meet their positive and healthy dietary needs as well as their preferences for such food.22

Along this line of thought, the concept of food security comes closer to the concept of the right to food, and has almost incorporated all the connotations of that right.23 Although the implementation of the right to food is a means for realizing food security, the declaration on food security has no binding force in international law but is only a policy goal since there is still no definition of food security within the framework of the Human Rights Convention, which enables more use of the concept of food security by states and exempts them from the liability in international law and accusation of playing political games in anti-hunger campaigns.24

B. Food safety

Food safety is the common requirement of the right to food and food security. Historically speaking, food safety itself is not an independent concept, but a feature of food quality. Comparatively, food quality is a multifaceted idea that can be interpreted from following aspects: health, nutrition, enjoyment and utilization, and as such it lacks a unified definition. In terms of quality, there are two mutually supplementary and diversified concepts. First, quality is a threshold value for judging whether the food is appropriate for human consumption, that is whether it meets safety standards or not. Second, quality differentiation means different features in terms of the quality, for instance, the flavour and texture, raw materials and place of origin. Moreover, quality cannot be scaled by hierarchical terms except for horizontal differentiation. When people's needs or preferences are satisfied through differentiated or hierarchical quality features separately or combined, the threshold value of quality shall be affirmed from the perspective of hygiene to ensure that the food is reliable and safe. Due to this factor, food hygiene/food safety25 has always been regarded as a basic requirement for food to have access to the market. On such a basis, differentiation of the quality of food may be realized by other value-added measures. However, a high degree of attention has been paid to food safety due to the frequent outbreaks of food safety-related incidents. With the development of food safety legislation, food safety has become a distinctive feature independent of quality, becoming an independent subject for regulation within the food industry.26

C. Relationship between food security and food safety

Comparatively, the distinctive features of the two concepts lie in ensuring that food security becomes the primary responsibility of the state,27 since no individual would like to or is capable of supplying food items with a "food security" label.28 For this purpose, priority should be given to food security and nutrition on the political agenda and a sound environment shall be created through sufficient investment, reasonable policies, efficient legal framework and participation of interested parties for improving food security and nutrition on a positive and reliable foundation.29 Different from food security, ensuring food safety is the primary responsibility of those engaged in the food industry, for which they should establish their own food safety structures, including management system, tracking system and recall system, three distinct but interrelated aspects of food safety. On such a basis, the state should ensure that those engaged in the food industry perform their food safety duties and obligations and ensure any violations of the relevant rules are subject to penalties and punishments through the establishment of food safety supervision and management system, with precaution as the foundation.

However, both common points and connections exist between the concepts of food security and food safety. Both food security and food safety have become worldwide issues. On the issue of food security, both hunger and malnutrition continue to exist on worldwide scale. On the issue of food safety, the extension of food supply chain and development of the food trade makes it possible for food-originated diseases to spread across state boundaries, because of this both food security and food safety call for the efforts of individual countries, as well as concerted international efforts. Cooperation is made possible through country-to-country administrative agreements as well as participation of private departments and private organizations, to ensure the supply of food and food safety through means of common governance.

As for the links between the two concepts, first, as mentioned above, food security has incorporated the food safety in its concept, for example, every individual is entitled to safe food. Second, nutritional security can be attained both in terms of quantity, for example, to ensure enough calories, and in terms of quality, to ensure the supply of necessary nutrients including vitamins and microelements.30 In addition, malnutrition can be attributed to a lack of nutrients or caused by over-nutrition, as well as life or health problems resulted from it, like chronic food-originated diseases such as diabetes and CJD. Thus, nutrition safety becomes another point of attention after food security and food safety.

Ⅲ. Food Sovereignty and Food Democracy

In terms of availability, the second key element to the right to adequate food, everyone has the need and right to "avail themselves of food". As a social right, the realization of the right to adequate food does not rely upon supply by the state. On the contrary, people may guarantee the living standards for individuals and realize self-sufficiency of food or foodstuff through individual efforts and collaborated work, including the utilization of resources. But the precondition for this is that individuals have access to available resources, for this particular reason, in the process of realizing the above rights, the primary obligation of the state is to respect the resources individually or collectively owned and the freedom of obtaining such resources. Since they can only be infringed upon by advantaged groups of economic interests or other strong third parties, those rights could be protected by prefixed institutional plans.31

As to the means of obtaining food in a free mode, including first acquiring food from the natural world through labour, for example, growing plants or raising animals on the land or aquaculture within a certain water area, or else through purchasing edible farming products in a chain of food supply or foodstuffs with intensive processing. 32 Comparatively speaking, the first mode is mainly for those who are engaged in the farming industry, for them, self-sufficiency can be realized through integrated means of farming operations, but land, capital and labour and other resources are all pre-requisite production materials. The second mode refers to the satisfaction of individual dietary needs through purchasing edible farming products and foodstuffs, as well as catering consumption. They have the choice of purchasing food, but on the condition that they are equipped with perception competence and enough information to choose foodstuff according to individual needs, for which, they must acquire knowledge of food safety as well as be provided with nutritional information on food packaging. In other words, the realization of the right to adequate food is dependent upon other rights no matter what means is employed to obtain food. For the first mode, exploiting natural resources is the most important sources of food, whether by fishing, hunting or collecting, namely obtaining food directly from nature, or planting crops and rearing animals by utilizing land and other natural resources. For the second mode, the right to information means that consumers have not only the right to choose food on a free basis but also the right to be involved in the formulation of food laws concerning their rights as consumers. However, with the complicated food supply chain as well as a growing number of cross-border agricultural companies and food retailers, the traditional family-based farm producer and sporadic consumers have become disadvantaged, to the extent that both of them encounter obstacles in asserting their right to adequate food.

A. Food sovereignty

Increasing the output of grain is an inevitable trend for modern agriculture, however, such a goal can only be achieved by giving full play to individual farmers against the background of a market economy rather than by oppressing or even wiping out family-based operations.33 However, the modern mode of agriculture and the trade in grains have dragged family farms into unfair competition. They not only have a disadvantage in terms of production costs, but also face international trade standards manipulated by the multinationals.34 The consequences of that include the knowledge, skills and experience for producing safe, nutritious and ample farm products passed down by generations of farming families have been threatened by free economy and the globalized operation of capital. In fact, farming, cultivating and the dietary traditions of a people and their folk customs concerning food are a mode of self-cultivation, with the industrialization of farming as well as infiltration of international farming investment, what has been sabotaged include not only the balance between the mode of cultivation in a country, but also the values and folk customs concerning the trade and production of food.35 In order to stand up to the above unfair competition afflicted upon traditional food producers, the Via Campesina raised the idea of food sovereignty with the purpose of letting the world know that when food producers are deprived of their rights then the goal of world food security will be unattainable. The theme of World Food Day 2014 was family farming, the purpose of which was to highlight the fact that family farmers were the ones most affected by global rural food insecurity. Furthermore, it was targeted at improving the situation of family farms, especially the key factor for securing global food security, which is a transformation from livelihood-based production activities to the commercial operation of farms.36 For such a reason, the concept of food sovereignty means that the market shall give way to higher level of value, especially the right to adequate food.37With the international publicity of the proposition, the introduction of Declaration on Food Sovereignty38 made it clear that, producers should have the right to freedom of will in managing the natural resources such as land, water and seeds by conforming to the local ecological system, traditional farming culture and fair income distribution. Food sovereignty therefore means respect for and maintenance of local customs in relation to food.39 Under such an assertion, private farms represented by family agriculture may decide on their own what they want to grow, especially the production system for food and grain. On the other hand, family farms are expected to solve the problems of hunger and malnutrition across the world by insisting on ecological sustainability and traditional culture heritage.40

B. Food democracy

For consumers, the right to adequate food means that they have the right to purchase on a frequent, long-term or unlimited basis food of appropriate quality and quantity in accordance with their own cultural traditions to ensure a life with dignity in physical or spiritual terms, individually or collectively, which shall meet their needs and be free from fear.41 However, in reality, consumers cannot choose the proper food and may even be misled by economically adulterated foods or foods with misleading labels because they tend to be in a disadvantaged position due to lack of information. For the problem of lack of information, on the one hand, companies tend to offer information conducive to their own position, even by exaggeration or exclusion; on the other hand, consumers have to rely on the labels and labelling provided by the companies due to a lack of professional knowledge or skills about food quality.42 Moreover, a lack of information also exists between the administrative agencies and consumers, especially when the consumers are not provided with the right to information and respect due to limited, postponed and untimely disclosure of information and the impossibility of them being involved in relevant legislature and administrative decision- making procedures, which leads to the situation that the needs and interests of consumers are not reflected in relevant food policies and legislations and rules.

What "food democracy" proposes43 is to let consumers know about the food and production process, then involve them in the food system through indicating their preference about the mode of production. Through such a process, the food system might be improved by meeting their needs and preferences with regard to values through their own consumption behaviour, even though consumers are not directly involved in the production and distribution of food, which is also a realization of "democracy embedded in public participation" within the food industry.44 Even today, foods still play a key role for living methods, personal relationships as well as personal health. However, the modernization somehow weakens realization of the people about food and its value in people's lives and society, which is displayed by the fact that the fast food and low-price food gradually dominate the food consumption, and people tend to become more price-oriented instead of putting quality and satisfaction of consumers on top priority. This has led to the damage of faith of consumers about food system.45 One measure to restore this faith would be the improvement of food system by integrating more public participation in the process of decision-making in food industry rather than involving only those that are engaged in the industry, especially the food industry conglomerates. Correspondingly, the proposition of the concept of "food democracy" is for the establishment of a food system satisfying the need of consumers to ensure that they may choose whatever they want to meet their dietary needs on the premise of the right to information, including both the preferences of individuals, and furthermore, improving food production through consumer behaviour, in order to reflect diversified values such as protecting ecology, employment support, fair trade, maintenance of culture, and the promotion of local development. During their enjoyment of food consumers share among themselves democratic values of social and economic development, participation and sustainability that have been neglected in the process of industrialization of modern production.46

It is worth mentioning that an available premise for achieving the above-mentioned food democracy is to maintain the diversified farming production against the backdrop of intensive production and distribution on the global scale, for example, organic agriculture and sustainable agriculture, as well as supporting local production and distribution, are ways that consumers may be offered alternative production options.47 Working in parallel with the proposition of food sovereignty, food democracy is meant to offer alternatives that can satisfy the diversified needs of consumers through respecting and protecting production modes different than agricultural modernization and ensuring they meet the needs of consumers beyond the realization of self-sufficiency guaranteed by traditional agriculture.

Ⅳ. Food Exception

It should be pointed out that the third key factor for the right to adequate food, "accessibility" of food, does not mean that problem of hunger and malnutrition across the world are result of a lack of food, rather these problems are caused by the unfair distribution of food when it enters into the supply system of production and circulation, especially the depriving the poor of "accessibility" to food. Therefore, there has been an on-going discussion about the relationship between trade and food security. Although the liberalisation of the trade in farm products offered a new channel for countries, especially farm produce importers, to guarantee their food supply, for instance, the first bilateral trade agreement in the form of trade liberalization was signed between the United Kingdom and France after the food import-restricted Corn Laws had been abolished on the part of the former, the purpose of which was to solve the problem of famine in the United Kingdom.48 However, in multilateral WTO negotiations, sovereign countries are not obliged to fulfil their obligations of realizing the right to adequate food and the issue is not on the agenda of such talks.

A. Food security problem in world trade

The WTO Agricultural Agreement sets out rules for food security, for example, member states are allowed to adopt measures to reduce rural poverty and food crisis, but the agreement itself does not distinguish between major crops and other non-crop food in relation to food security.49 Besides, in order to reduce domestic policies hindering free trade, the Agricultural Agreement set limits on supporting measures initiated by member states for boosting their own agricultural development, the consequence of which has been to impose restrictions on policy tools that might be deployed by developing countries for food security.50 With the liberalization of the trade in agricultural products, especially following the intensive dumping activities on the part of developed countries of their farm products after their developing counterparts opened their market, the challenges for the realization of the right to adequate food in those countries include: on the one hand, low-income countries without a sufficient supply of food do not have enough financial resources to import food to meet their domestic needs and thus their citizens tend to be deprived of the right to adequate food and this can lead to a social crisis, on the other hand, increasing imports has a negative impact on sustainable development.51 From the perspective of monism52, the conflict between trade and food security is basically the right to trade (a basic economic right), the right to adequate food, and when the international society is seeking to revise trade rules to make them more conducive to the guarantee of food security, the key question in front of us is how to mediate between the two rights.

A right incorporates both interests and values. Thus, when there is a conflict between two different rights, the essence of it is the conflict between different interests and values.53 Conflict in terms of interests and values exist between the right to trade and the right to food. Trade liberalization pursues interests by seeking profits
from the conquering of overseas markets,54 in other words, seeking maximum profits through free circulation of grains and non-crop food, while the right to adequate food is to guarantee life, health and an adequate standard of living. The assertion of food sovereignty is to guarantee that individuals may obtain the goal of self-sufficiency
through independent grain production and fair distribution and live with dignity on that foundation, while food democracy is to guarantee that consumers have the right to information as to where food originates and its ingredients against the backdrop of the global trade in food, and furthermore, to improve the food system through their consumption choices. Food security for a country not only means it can feed its people, it also reflects public interests such as economic interests, the interest of the independence of a country, the social interest of maintaining stability, the cultural interest of maintaining unique national characteristics and the ecological interest of protecting the farming environment.55

B. Non-economic value of "availability"

On the above basis, farm products including grains become a tool for realizing the market value for those involved in the economic activities, therefore, both the unified official safety criteria and diversified individual quality standards are economically motivated behaviours. However, the right to adequate food puts special emphasis on the non-economic values pertaining to food, especially grains and crops that meet the needs of the poor,56 which is closely related to the dignity of human beings. For this particular reason, both the right to adequate living standards and the right to adequate food are targeted at securing the right of people to live their lives with dignity.57 To realize such rights, the agricultural knowledge and practices with the local residents should be respected and passed on during the production phase rather than imposing unfamiliar production methods and techniques of indigenous farming communities. In fact, in terms of local environment and development, indigenous people are not only residents of a locality but also experts on farming in a specific location because they know the local conditions and cater to local consumption preferences that have been established over time. For this reason, investment in the agriculture sector shall not only consider the costs and profits but also give priority to the local population.58

Second, the right to adequate food originates from the goal of securing the availability of food and people's livelihoods which represents its social value, an indication of which is respect for cultural suitability and maintaining the local culture relating to food and the production of food.

Finally, obtaining and producing food is related to the protection of natural resources and the maintenance of diversified farming practices. Traditional agriculture compared with its modern counterpart is characterized by farming by hand and a farmer's understanding of the climate and geology as well as experience-based small and family-sized labouring activities and recycling use of natural raw materials, in order to maintain food diversity and an ecological balance.59 In fact, biological diversity, agricultural diversity and food diversity are related, and with regard to people's health a monotonous diet may lead to malnutrition. For this reason, in terms of food supply, a biologically diversified agricultural ecological system may satisfy diversified needs.

C. Food exception

The WTO Agricultural Agreement sets out the trade rules to be applied to regulation of farm products including grains and crops due to their special position, however, farm products have not been treated differently from any other types of goodsdespite the fact that they are inextricably linked with people's health and livelihoods.60
In view of the above factors, "food exception" has been heard again in France, and the emphasis put on farm products does not mean to give up free trade of farm products, rather, it considers the economic value of food less than the primary function of it to satisfy the need of human beings for food. If the above idea is widely accepted and acceded to, special trade rules must be made for securing the special position of farm products in international trade, just as the case of "cultural exception" established for cultural products. 61

The trade in cultural products is different from that of general commodities.62 Different from general observation about cultural trade liberalization,63 an alternative value tendency of "cultural exception" was raised by France in the Uruguay round of trade talks, the significance of which is to separate culture from general service in the trade and allow member states to take measures to boost the development of domestic film and audio-video industry in a bid to contend with the United Sates, which has dominated the industry. Supporters of such an exception for food hold that cultural products incorporate both commodity features as well as cultural features, and the latter helps to export specialized ideology and values through its media, which will be of special significance to the elevation of the cultural image of the country and to cultural security of a state.64 Therefore, cultural products shall not be wholly subject to unlimited trade policies as any other products.

In fact, "food exception" as a subject for study of academic attention is not only a case of importing the idea of "cultural exception", but also an extension from the idea of "development box" proposed by Cuba and ten other countries as well as the idea of "food safety box" raised by India, which is a reiteration of the special features of farm products and proposes an establishment of a special safeguarding mechanism under the current trade framework, further it intends to gain more room for policies and incentives for the developing countries in the current unfair world trade system and offer basic guarantee of food security for the poor.65

Ⅴ. Conclusion

To sum up, if a state fails to perform its obligation to ensure people's right to adequate food, people may suffer from hunger and malnutrition, at least it will likely be one of the major reasons for hunger and malnutrition, since not all hunger and malnutrition is the result of the right to adequate food being infringed upon.66 For this reason, the right to adequate food has been actualized by a number of specialized international conventions, for example, the Convention on the Rights of the Child vows to eradicate diseases and malnutrition including the utilization of present available technologies within the premise of preliminary health care by offering sufficient nutritious food and clean drinking water. In addition, in order to urge countries to implement such a right, the Human Rights Council in 2001 in its human rights review and report system introduced the idea of appointing specialized inspectors in the field of food to oversee the implementation of such a right in member countries. For this purpose, the UN specialized inspector of food rights described the right to food in his report as "a right that could ensure consumers, either individuals or collective bodies, to have access to a healthy, pleasant, care-free life with dignity through their activities of directing obtaining or purchasing with money enough food with proper quality and in proper quantity in a frequent, sustained and unconventional way in conformity with the cultural tradition of their own ethnic group".67

A. Realization of the right to adequate food

However, to realize the right to food, especially the right to adequate food, state implementation is necessary. The right to adequate food should be enjoyed by every individual, however, the deprivation or limitation of such a substantial right of many subjects is widely seen due to problems in food production and distribution, against
such a background, we see the emergence of food safety, food security, food sovereignty, food democracy and food exception. The right to adequate food shall be elevated to the level of a legitimate right, then to a substantial right through legal means for the realization of it. Correspondingly, "means of right" is significant since it requires the realization of such a right through incorporating the right to food into the legal order of domestic law. The right to adequate food embodies the material interest of being satisfied by "food" and special requirements for production and distribution in the process of obtaining access to food, including culture, customs as well as integrity of people, sustainability, non-discrimination and cultivation of self-reliance capabilities.68 In this aspect, a food law shall not be limited to food safety but also seek to ensure food security, the quality of food, and food safety.69 The importance of this legislation is self-evident. An improved legal framework for food would consist of the following:

First, the right to adequate food shall be guaranteed by the Constitution since the purpose of the Constitution is to guarantee people's rights, as a fundamental right, the right to adequate food is fundamental to realizing the basic right to life, as well as to ensure that people can fulfil their right live with dignity.70 There are three means of recognizing the right to adequate food by the state, namely direct recognition of "the right to food" — for example, the clause on "basic rights" in Guanaja's Constitution stipulates that "those living in Guanaja shall be freed from hunger" and the "bill of rights" in the South Africa Constitution of 1996 states "every individual has the right to adequate food and water"; or provisions on "the right to adequate food" as part of the right to adequate living standards or social security, or the rights entitled to disadvantaged groups of people. In addition, another significance of stressing the importance of incorporating the right to adequate food in countries' constitutions is to offer judicial support for such a right by sound implementation and relevant regimes of a constitution.71 It should be pointed out that incorporating the right to adequate food in a constitution does not mean that people in that country may file a case on the grounds of alleged violations of such a right if the right is named as a policy objective instead of a basic right in the Constitution. The right to adequate food as a constitutional right is dependent upon the establishment and oversight of a specialized constitutional review body in a country.72

Second, the primary task of a state is to ensure food security and the realization of food security is related to the development of agriculture. For this reason, the agricultural legislation is not only "policy transferring" but also a basic legal system on the basis of food supply interests with the right to food as its source.73 The state shall ensure the self-determining power of those engaged in farming in the process of guaranteeing the supply of food, namely choosing an agricultural economic pattern according to the production resources it employs. The principles of "self-reliance and self-sufficiency" in the poverty relief projects in this country advocate taking initiatives and respecting the autonomy of those covered by the projects while implementing the projects. In this sense, the realization of the right to adequate food does not mean that the country shall take a more active role in offering basic living necessities to those disadvantaged groups.74 However, state intervention is necessary considering the vulnerable nature of farming,75 the purpose of which is to set up a supportive environment including favourable legislative moves to ensure land, tax, and credit incentives. For instance, the basis for increasing crop yield is to protect cultivated land, which requires laws on land management and water and soil conservation; at the same time, obstacles to food production must be eradicated, for instance, the state should take initiatives to cope with the challenges created by the global food crisis and climate change. Third, as a system of distribution, the free trade of farm produce offers a means for securing food supply for some countries, however, restrictions put in place in the Agricultural Agreement pose threats to the government's policies and legislations aimed at securing food security. The means of access of the WTO through domestic food legislation, for instance, improves the utilization of green box policies within the framework of WTO rules.76 On such a basis, we should put in place an agricultural legal system with the food security basic law at the core77 including legal regimes relating to agricultural support, agricultural science and technology innovation and education development, agricultural social service, agricultural resources and environmental protection;78 internationally, in the process of advancing WTO trade rules relating to farm produces, food security and food sovereignty shall constitute the principle and bottom line for agricultural talks,79 seeking principle of exception for the special commodity of food.

Moreover, to secure food safety, food safety laws should be optimized. Historical experience indicates that food legislation for a long time has been put in place on the basis of demand of economic development rather than being a food security guarantee. Although the legislation takes into consideration the demands of consumers, it protects only the economic expectations of consumers, and the first guarantee of food safety and security emerged only a hundred years ago.80 Food safety is an ultimate interest of consumers, but the guarantee of health is only a secondary goal for legislators, not the primary one. Fortunately, with the rise of consumer movements, consumer protection is attracts more and more attention from anti-economic monopolies seeking social justice and fairness. With increasing public realization of food safety and public health, a consensus has been forged on the enactment of basic laws to secure public health as a legislative goal. For instance, the legislative goal of the Law on Food Safety is to ensure public health through guaranteeing food safety. Furthermore, the Law on Food Safety and the legal system could be optimized from three aspects including material, process and information, for instance, prescribed standards for application scope and dose of food additives,81 hygiene standards in food production and circulation,82 and pre-packaged food labels.83 Among which, the information legislation is to ensure the right to information of consumers, and the so-called food information refers to information offered to consumers through food labels, other accompanying media or any other means employing modern technology or language exchange.84

Finally, nutritional safety as well as food security85 is related to food safety. After 20 years' of efforts, the food supply has been improved, however, the occurrence rate of diseases related to retarded body growth, low-body weight and micro element deficiency remains at the same level.86 Adequate nutrition means that food-originated
diseases may result from over-nutrition. It should be pointed out that obesity rates in developing countries and countries in economic transitional period surpass those of the industrialized countries, which means that food-originated diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure pose threats to public health and may produce a heavier medical care burden.87 Therefore, nutritional safety following food security targeted at food supply and food safety for the purpose of risk prevention and control has become a subject for food policy-makers and legal researchers, including improving the intake of nutrition through the food system,88 especially the establishment of nutritional safety as the basis and core for food safety,89 or regulating nutrition indications on labels and health statement. Some NGOs go even further and have proposed replacing "the right to adequate food" with "right to nutrition" in a bid to meet the nutritional needs of growing children. For instance, the Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights incorporates such provisions about adequate nutrition.90

B. Problem-oriented awareness in China

Looking closer at China, at the theoretical level the country's Constitution does not set out the right to adequate food, but on the one hand, the provision on protecting and respecting this human right by "incorporating the human right into the constitutional law" offers a jurisprudent foundation for the right to adequate food in principle, on the other hand, the provision on providing material help to the aged, the sick, or the incapacitated may also entitle such disadvantaged groups with the right to adequate food. On legalization to uphold the right to adequate food and the above relevant concepts, the country is at present focused on the task of legislating on food safety and food security. On the one hand, food security in this country is challenged by its big population and limited land for cultivation, as well as a declining farming population and increasing demand for land for development. Both policy incentives and legal guarantees should be put in place, among which, the Agricultural Law holds regarded as the framework for ensuring food security through the protection of cultivated land and a food security warning system. It should be noted that the Food Law in the process of formulation is expected to guarantee the country's  food security by enhancing its food regulation and control capabilities and safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of farmers. On the other hand, with food safety gaining greater attention, the Law on Food Safety should be viewed as a framework for ensuring food safety, through its revision, risk prevention and control and social co-management in regulating food safety can be given more prominence, for instance, reducing the potential risks or hidden dangers suffered by consumers through an risk warning system and encouraging the participation of various parties in the exchange of information about food risks.

Concepts such as food sovereignty, food democracy and food exception may be reflected in regulations and different laws, for instance, the guarantee of land use right of farmers in the Rural Land Contract Law, and protection of autonomy of consumers in purchasing food by Law on Protection of Rights and Interests of Consumers. Although the country is stepping up efforts to introduce food legislation, the problem- oriented means of legislation will inevitably lead to fragmentation. In addition, the lack of theoretical consideration leads to conflicts and misunderstanding in the legislating process and ensuing law enforcement. Three problems shall be dealt with in food legislation and law enforcement.

First, conflicts between food security and food safety have not been avoided. Food security laws and food safety laws have been developing in parallel, which may lead to contradictions between the quantity and safety of food produced due to fragmented supervision of edible farm produce. In this regard, farm-originated primary products are subject to the realm of jurisdiction of Law on Quality Safety of Farm Products through means of fragmented supervision stipulated in Law on Food Safety, the result of which is the Ministry of Agriculture shall be responsible for safety supervision and production of farm goods, this is to say, on the one hand the yields of edible farm products have rapidly increased due to the application of fertilizers and pesticides, on the other hand, safety concerns have emerged due to the excessive pesticide residue and the contamination of food and environment by excessive and abusive use of chemical substances. In order to avoid conflicts in functions and interests, in the process of food safety supervision, the duty of overseeing food safety has become centralized in institutions established for the purpose of securing health.

Second, differences between food safety and food quality have not been clearly identified. Safety has long been regarded as one aspect of quality, but with the increasing number of food safety-related incidents, it has become an independent subject for regulation.91 At present, the Law on Quality and Safety of Farm Products mandates differently on the safety and quality of food, but definitions of both concepts, and the boundaries between government regulation and market-oriented approach have not been clearly defined. In fact, the practice of a gaining a competitive edge by means of quality differentiation has been widely seen, but the quality of farm goods is closely related to human existence and health, and demand for hygienic and nutritious food is universal and objective, while consumption demand is special and may vary due to cultural, social and social status variables.92 Thus, legislating food quality has two different aspects. The first is punitive regulations to prohibit food fraud and adulteration, and major measures include minimum requirement and formulating rules and regulations applied to all producers, including also the requirement for food safety. On such a basis, consumers' appeal for food origins and relevant producing techniques shall be properly addressed through regulating features of food quality, such as naming of place of origin of food products.93

C. Misunderstanding about the relevance between food security and food safety

In implementing the Law on Food Safety, there are still managing supervisors who think that nutritious ingredients belong to realm of the right to information by consumers, and failure to indicate that does not necessarily mean that the food does not conform to safety standards.94 It should be noted that food safety in the Law on Food Safety of the country is defined as food free from health risks that provides adequate nutrition. Seen from this definition, food safety itself embodies the content of nutrition requirements. Different from malnutrition, obesity caused by over nutrition may lead to chronic food-originated disease like high blood pressure and diabetes. The supervisory process of food safety is dynamic and may transform with the development of the food industry and dietary customs. With the easing of the food supply problem and other safety problems like the abuse of chemical fertilizers and micro-organism contamination, food safety problems relating to nutrition may begin to surface. However, "obesity" is no longer a hidden safety danger, and nutrition labels and improved nutrition95 have become an important measure for preventing and control the disease.

Elaboration on the right to adequate food and analysis of the relevant concepts are expected to offer a systemic theoretical framework for improvement of the relevant laws and rules. From fragmented legal rules to a whole legal structure, basic food safety laws, or to put it more precisely, basic food laws shall play their due role of realizing conformity of legal structure through establishing a legal basis. That is to say, the food law is the basic law of such a sector,96 setting out basic requirements for securing food safety. These requirements are preconditions for satisfying different demands of consumers for food quality after the food enters into market circulation and realizing food security. Various food laws and rules with varied legislative purpose shall work in a coordinated way to realize the adequacy, safety and trophism of supply of food/foodstuff.

(Translated by FU Yao)


*SUN Juanjuan ( 孙娟娟 ), post-doctor of Law School at Renmin University of China, research fellow with the Coordination Innovation Centre for Food Safety Governance at Renmin University of China.

1. For instance, in the Chinese translation of the work of The Right to Adequate Food, the term "food" was alternatively translated as shiwu (food) or liangshi (grain). There is no explanation about the difference in translated versions of the same term, which is, possibly, at the will of the translator. See: UN Human Right: The Right to Adequate Food (2010), a general introduction, No. 34, 2010, Chinese version. For another example, Chinese students major in food safety tend to introduce themselves as "food security" majors, while when foreign scholars try to know about issues relating to food security in China, they may get articles about food safety when searching by the keyword "food security", and vice versa, which unavoidably leads to obstacles for exchange and communication in food legislation.

2. Tang Zhengmang, Sixty Years of Industry of Grain in the New P.R.C (Xiangtan: Press of Xiangtan University, 2009), 2.

3. Cao Man and Ye Wenhu, "Human, Non-artificial Product, Artificial Product: Three Types of Natural Products", Environmental Protection and Circular Economy, no. 6 (2009):5.

4. Friedrich Engels, Der Ursprung der Familie, des Privateigentums und des Staats, trans. the Compilation and Translation Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, Great Work of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin (Beijing: Renmin Press, 2009), 21-26.

5. Huang Pulin, "How to Define the Primary Edible Products", accessed October 14, 2015, http://www.ghgs.gov. cn/show_z001_nopic.aspx?id=718.

6. In accordance with Article 2 of the Law on Product Quality, products refer to those that are processed and manufactured for sales.

7. Bunte, F., "The Food Economy of Today and Tomorrow", in The Food Economy: Global Issues and Challenges, eds. Bunte, F. and Dagevos, H. (Wageningen: Wageningen Academic Publishers, 2009), 48-49.

8. Zhai Huqu, A General Introduction to Agriculture (Beijing: Higher Education Press, 2006), 71.

9. Tang Zhengmang, Sixty Years of Industry of Grain in the New P.R.C (Xiangtan: Press of Xiangtan University, 2009), 4-11.

10. Codex Alimentarius Commission, Procedural Manual, Twenty-first edition, 2013, p.22.

11. François Collart Dutilleul, "The Law Pertaining to Food Issues and Natural Resources Exploitation and Trade", Agriculture and Food Security, no. 1 (2012): 6.

12. Lester Brown, Who Will Feed China?— Wake up Call for a Small Planet (Manhattan: Manhattan W. W. Norton & Company, 1995).

13. Lin Shenjie, "The Right to Food and Its Interpretations", Journal of Pacific, no. 9 (2009): 56.

14. The core of social right is the right to an adequate living standard. Asbj?rn Eide, "The Human Right to Adequate Food and Freedom from Human", in FAO, The Right to Food in Theory and Practice, 1998, p.2.

15. Lin Shenjie, "The Right to Food and Its Interpretations", Journal of Pacific, no. 9 (2009): 55.

16. Commission of Economic, Social and Cultural Right: No. 12 General Commentary on the Right to Adequate  Food, 1999, p.3.

17. Lin Shenjie, "The Right to Food and Its Interpretations", Journal of Pacific, no. 9 (2009): 56-57.

18. The English terms for the three concepts are adequacy, availability and accessibility respectively. There are up to now no unified translations in various documents. In the Chinese version of The Right to Adequate Food, there is no unified Chinese translation for the English word "Adequate". See: UN Human Right: The Right to Adequate Food (2010), a general introduction, No. 34, p. 3, Chinese version.

19. UN Human Right: The Right to Adequate Food (2010), a general introduction, No. 34, p. 6, Chinese version.

20. Ning Libiao, "On Constitutional Guarantee of the Right to Food: An Analysis of Constitutional Text",  Hebei Jurisprudence, no. 7 (2011): 3.

21. Ning Libiao, "Unfolding the Right to Food from a Historical Perspective", Journal of Guizhou University (Social Sciences Edition), no. 4 (2011): 60.

22. World Food Summit, Declaration on World Food Security and World Food Summit Plan of Action, Rome, November 13-17, 1996.

23. Ning Libiao, "Unfolding the Right to Food from a Historical Perspective", Journal of Guizhou University (Social Sciences Edition), no. 4 (2011): 60-61.

24. Ibid., 61.

25. The two concepts are both related to food hygiene and defined as conditions and measures for producing, processing, storing, circulating and preparing food to ensure safety, reliance and hygiene of food for human consumption. FAO/WHO, The Role of Food Safety in Health and Development, Expert Committee on Food Safety, 1984, p.7. However, with the development of food safety legislation, food safety and food security become two distinctive concepts.

26. Sun, J., "The Evolving Appreciation of Food Safety", European Food and Feed Law Review 7(2) (2012): 84-85.

27. United Nations Economic and Social Council, The New International Economic Order and the Promotion of Human Rights, E/CN.4/Sub.2/1985/23, 1985.

28. Zeng Xiaoyun, "Ways of Establishing the Right to Food Security: From Perspective of Formulation of Law on Grains of P.R.C.", Journal of Anhui Agricultural University (Social Sciences Edition), no. 3 (2013): 38.

29. FAO, Situation of World Insecurity of Food in 2014: Economic Crisis — Impact and Experience and Lessons Acquired, 2014.

30. FAO, The Right to Food in Theory and Practice, 1998, p.2.

31. Asbjørn Eide, "The Human Right to Adequate Food and Freedom from Human", in FAO, The Right to Food in Theory and Practice, 1998, pp.3-4.

32. Du Gangjian, "The Right to Food and Chinese Traditional Culture", in The Right to Food and Food Safety Law (Shantou: Shantou University Press, 2011), 4.

33. Qin Hui, "Agricultural Modernization Is No Equivalence to Elimination of Private Farming", Construction of Chinese Old Region, no. 5 (2005): 16-17.

34. Pierre Vuarin, Food Sovereignty and Civil Governance: Suggestions about Solving the Problems of Hunger and Malnutrition in the World, trans. Chen Lichuan, Sino-EU Forum, 2007.

35. Dong Xiaoping, "Food Folk Culture and Food Sovereignty", Journal of Zhejiang University (Humanities and Social Sciences Edition), no. 1 (2006): 44-45.

36. FAO, "Supporting Family Farms Is the Key for Healthy Food Systems", accessed October 14, 2015, http:// www.fao.org/news/story/zh/item/260917/icode/.

37. Pierre Vuarin, Food Sovereignty and Civil Governance: Suggestions about Solving the Problems of Hunger and Malnutrition in the World, trans. Chen Lichuan, Sino-EU Forum, 2007.

38. Sun Juanjuan, "Declaration of Nyéléni on Food Sovereignty of 2017", Law-based Governance in Hunan Province and Study on Regional Management, no. 4 (2011), the author, after her study about food law, holds the opinion that the Chinese translation of food sovereignty shall be “liang shi zhu quan” ( 粮食主权) in pinyin.

39. Zhang Wenxian, "On the Subject of Human Right and the Human Right of the Subject", China Legal Science, no. 5 (1991): 30-31.

40. Yan Hairong, "Small-sized Farming Challenging the Global Capitalism: Commentaries on People's Forum on Food Sovereignty", China Non-profit Commentaries, no. 5 (2010): 229-230.

41. Du Gangjian, "The Right to Food and Chinese Traditional Culture", in The Right to Food and Food Safety Law (Shantou: Shantou University Press, 2011), 4.

42. Wu Hongwei, Law on Protection of Rights and Interests of Consumers (Beijing: China Renmin University Press, 2014), 6.

43. Neil Hamilton, "Food Democracy and the Future of American Values", Drake Journal of Agricultural Law 9 (2004): 19.

44. Ibid., 21.

45. Ibid., 15-16.

46. Ibid.

47. Neil Hamilton, "Food Democracy II: Revolution or Restoration?", Journal of Food Law & Policy 13 (2005): 18.

48. Zhao Weitian, Legal Regime of WTO (Changchun: Jilin Renmin Press, 2000), 4.

49. Wu Qiong, "On Negative Impact of the WTO Agricultural Agreement on Food Security of Developing Nations: From the Perspective of Human Right", Journal of Gansu Academy of Political Science and Law, no. 9 (2009): 138-140.

50. Zhang Xiaojing, "On Food Security under WTO Agricultural Agreement: From the Perspective of Developing Nations", Journal of Zhengzhou University (Philosophy and Social Sciences Edition), no. 2 (2012): 54.

51. Wu Qiong, "On Negative Impact of the WTO Agricultural Agreement on Food Security of Developing Nations: From the Perspective of Human Right", Journal of Gansu Academy of Political Science and Law, no. 9 (2009): 140.

52. Chen Xifeng, "Monism of Trade and Human Right with Basic Rights As the Key: Theoretical Construction for Relationship Between Trade and Human Right by Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann", Modern Law Science, no. 2 (2009): 128.

53. Liu Zuoxiang, "Theoretical Issues Concerning Conflict of Rights", China Legal Science, no. 2 (2002): 58.

54. Zhao Weitian, Legal Regime of WTO (Changchun: Jilin Renmin Press, 2000), 4.

55. Zeng Xiaoyun, "Ways of Establishing the Right to Food Security: From Perspective of Formulation of Law on Grains of the P.R.C.", Journal of Anhui Agricultural University (Social Sciences Edition), no. 3 (2013): 39.

56. Zhang Baoyuan, "On Legal Protection of the Right to Food: From a Constitutional Perspective", Administration and Law, no. 1 (2009): 82.

57. FAO Legal Office, "Implementation of the Right to Food in National Legislation", in FAO, The Right to Food in Theory and Practice, 1998, p.41.

58. Pierre Spitz, "Investing in the Right to Food", in FAO, The Right to Food in Theory and Practice, 1998, p.6.

59. Dong Xiaoping, "Food Folk Culture and Food Sovereignty", Journal of Zhejiang University (Humanities and Social Sciences Edition), no. 1 (2006): 47.

60. Yu Ying, "Evolution of Trade Rules for International Trade of Grains: From a Political Economic Perspective", Pacific Journal, no. 6 (2011):54.

61. François Collart Dutilleul, Proposition pour la reconnaissance internationale d'une sur le modele de , 2013, Programmee Lascaux.

62. Article 8 of the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity.

63. Wu Chengzhong and Mu Yang, "International Cultural Trade Regulation Seen from the Perspective of WTO and 'Cultural Exception' ", International Trade Issues, no. 3 (2013): 132-142.

64. He Qisheng and Zhang Zhe, "Principle of 'Cultural Exception' in International Free Trade", Citizens and Law, no. 5 (2012): 2.

65. Zhang Xiaojing, "On Food Security under WTO Agricultural Agreement: From the Perspective of Developing Nations", Journal of Zhengzhou University (Philosophy and Social Sciences Edition), no. 2 (2012): 57.

66. Michael Windfuhr, "NGOs and the Right to Adequate Food", in FAO, The Right to Food in Theory and Practice, 1998, p.6.

67. See UN Human Right: The Right to Adequate Food (2010), a general introduction, No. 34, p.3, Chinese version.

68. Huang He, A Coursebook of Agricultural Law (Beijing: China University of Political Science and Law Press, 2011), 51.

69. Hutt, P., "Food Law & Policy: An Essay", Journal Food Law and Policy, no. 1 (2005): 2-3

70. Ning Libiao, "On Constitutional Guarantee of the Right to Food: An Analysis of Constitutional Text", Hebei Jurisprudence, no. 7 (2011): 3.

71. Zhang Baoyuan, "On Legal Protection of the Right to Food: From a Constitutional Perspective", Administration and Law, no. 1 (2009): 83.

72. Ning Libiao, "On Constitutional Guarantee of the Right to Food: An Analysis of Constitutional Text", Hebei Jurisprudence, no. 7 (2011): 5.

73. Huang He, A Coursebook of Agricultural Law (Beijing: China University of Political Science and Law Press, 2011), 41-53.

74. In his analysis of the right to food, Zhang Baoyuan notes that it is a basic social right and the disadvantaged groups in a society require safeguarding by the state, different with the basic right of freedom in traditional sense, the latter relies upon the negative power and nonfeasance of the state. Zhang Baoyuan, "On Legal Protection of the Right to Food: From a Constitutional Perspective",  Administration and Law, no. 1 (2009): 83. The author holds a different view on this point and holds that the right to food is not equal to the right to be supported and fed. In terms of the right to food of citizens, a primary aspect of the three-fold obligations of the state is to offer a supportive environment in which citizens may have access to food through their own efforts and the state may step in only when individuals fail to support themselves, and only at this stage the state shall shoulder the responsibility of support and help those disadvantaged part of the community out of dilemma.

75. Wang Huaiyong, "Legal Guarantee of Developing Modern Agriculture", Legal Forum, no. 6 (2009): 88.

76. Huang Hui and Zeng Wenge, "A Retrospect of China’s Food Security Legislation after WTO Entry and Future Strategies", Agricultural Economic Issues, no. 1 (2013): 9-11.

77. Ibid., 9.

78. Wang Huaiyong, "Legal Guarantee of Developing Modern Agriculture", Legal Forum, no. 6 (2009): 89-91.

79. Zhao Fang and Chen Zhen, "Reconsideration on Food Sovereignty and WTO Agricultural Trade System", Academic Journal of Zhongzhou, no. 4 (2009): 42.

80. Hutt, P. B., "Food Law & Policy: An Essay", Journal Food Law and Policy, no. 1 (2005).

81. State Standards of P.R.C.: State Standards for Food Safety for Use of Food Additives, GB2760-2011.

82. State Standards of P.R.C.: State Standards for Food Safety for General Hygiene in Food Production, GB14881-2013.

83. State Standards of P.R.C.: State Standards for Food Safety for Prepackaged Food Labels, GB7718-2011.

84. EU food information legislation for reference, Paragraph 2, Article 2, 1169/2011/EU by EU Parliament and EU Council, adopted on October 25, 2011.

85. Wu Tianxi, "New Concept and New Requirement for Food Security", World Agriculture, no. 6 (2001): 9-10.

86. FAO, Insecurity Situation of World Food in 2014, 2014, p. 14.

87. Pierre Vuarin, The Sustainability of World Food System: A Major Stake of Human, trans. Jean Guy Yang, Sino- EU Social Forum (2008).

88. FAO, Food Systems for Better Nutrition — The State of Food and Agriculture 2013, 2013.

89. Cai Weizhong, "Nutrition Safety Is the Basis and Core of Food Safety of the Child", Food Industry Technology, no. 1 (2009).

90. Ning Libiao, "Conceptual Analysis of the Right to Food", Journal of Changchun Polytechnic University (Social Sciences Edition), no. 4 (2009): 41.

91. J. Sun, "The Evolving Appreciation of Food Safety", European Food and Feed Law Review 7(2) (2012): 84-85.

92. Catherine Del Cont, "Qualité et valorisation des produits agroalimentaires et marché: signes et demarches de qualité et concurrence", in Actes du Colloque international réalisé à San José, Costa Rica, 2010, p.117.

93. Louis Lorvellec, Droit Rural, Masson, 1988, p. 412. 94. No. 15157, final civil (commercial) judgement of the Third Intermediate People's Court of Beijing (2014).

95. In terms of improved nutrition, the Ministry of Health has implemented on September 1 of 2010 Measures of Improving Nutrition Management Work, which is targeted at conducting prevention and control of nutrition deficiency, over-nutrition and other diseases relating to nutrition for improving the nutritious situation of residents.

96. Collart Dutilleul, F., "Elément pour une introduction au droit agro-alimentaire (elements for the introduction of food law)", in Mélanges en l'honneur d'Yves Serra, ed. Dallow, 2006, also available on the Internet at:  
http://www.droit-aliments terre.eu/documents/sources_lascaux/articles/pre_2009/2006_FCD_elements_introduction_ droit_agroalimentaire.pdf.

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