Do WTO rules improve or impair the right to food?

Häberli, Christian (2012). Do WTO rules improve or impair the right to food? In: McMahon, Joseph E.; Desta, Melaku Geboye (eds.) Research Handbook on the WTO Agriculture Agreement. Research Handbooks on the WTO (pp. 70-103). Cheltenham,UK+Northampton, MA,USA: Edward Elgar

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The global food crisis of 2007–08 seems to be forgotten. Media attention at the time focused on food riots in Haiti and Mozambique, while world leaders and more than a dozen international organizations gathered for several food summits, calling for immediate relief measures. But not a single government seems to remember its obligations under the Right to Food (R2F) which the United Nations (UN) had enshrined back in 1948. Today we have to acknowledge that the R2F still lacks an adequate response under the present multilateral rules and disciplines applying to food production and trade. This chapter examines the present rules and disciplines under the AoA and of those contemplated in the Doha Development Round. Here we find that despite claims to the contrary they contribute precious little to the R2F. Some of the present rules, or the lack thereof, can even act as disincentives for global and national food security. Various forms of production and export subsidies, food aid abuse and export restrictions, are still WTO-legal, with few remedies available to food insecure developing countries. This amounts to a violation of their R2F obligations by many WTO Members.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


02 Faculty of Law > Department of Economic Law > NCCR International Trade Regulation

UniBE Contributor:

Häberli, Christian Martin


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 340 Law
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 380 Commerce, communications & transportation


978 1 84844 116 3


Research Handbooks on the WTO


Edward Elgar




Christian Häberli

Date Deposited:

22 Jul 2014 13:48

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:36

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