CLICK HERE for India Saga: Civil Society Organizations Raise Concern Over India’s Possibility Of Joining SUN Movement Aarti Dhar 22 May 2017
The Times of India
Don’t join SUN, a nutrition drive Its ties with food MNCs create Conflicts of Interest
TNN | May 24, 2017, 05.19 AM IST
Civil society groups have cautioned the central government about fresh efforts to persuade India to join the international
movement called Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN), whose stated mission is to help countries fight malnutrition.
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
Many countries that did not join the SUN network have raised the issue of conflict of interest in the SUN Business Network
(SBN), which includes multinational food corporations like Pepsi, Cargill, Nutriset, Britannia, Unilever, Edesia, General Mills,
Glaxo SKB, Mars, Indofood, Nutrifood, DSM and Valid Nutrition. In a document detailing the reasons for not joining networks
like SUN, officials from a Brazilian government agency said that international initiatives on fighting malnutrition ought to forbid
“the participation of the business sector in the decision-making process and the management and implementation of both
international and national strategies and policies”.
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
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