Monday, March 1, 2010


Local sentiments are increasingly being touted as the reason for many societies across the world to look inward and develop "frog in the well" tendency uncaring for what ever happens to their co-inhabitants on this planet. The linguistic chauvinism that is causing immense damage to the very fabric of Indian Nation is a typical example of the inward looking tendency amongst the population. The turmoils in Telengana region and Mumbai Metro where chaotic situation is prevalent are also caused by selfish motives and vested interests, not concerned with honest common man. In the food area also many countries try to protect their turf through artificial barriers ignoring the pitiable living conditions under which their counterparts in poor countries survive. Local food movement started in many rich countries under the pretext of reducing carbon pollution caused by long distance transportation of foods ignore that global trade provides solace to millions of people in developing countries. Against such a background, a recent UK report frowns on the concept of food miles which can hurt the interests of many countries from the developing world.

"In a controversial move the report will urge consumers not to insist on buying locally-produced food, because doing so would reduce the prosperity of farmers in developing countries.Environmental campaigners have called on shoppers to "buy local" as a way to minimise their carbon footprint. However, the Food 2030 report will dismiss the popular concept of "food miles" as "not a helpful measure". It will argue that so long as UK businesses can find alternative markets for their products, then consumers should feel free to buy imported produce in order to support livelihoods in developing countries".

Similar is the concept of labeling changes being demanded in some industrialized countries to indicate the country of origin of consumer foods in the super markets presumably to help consumers in their country to shun foods from other countries which are prejudged to be of inferior quality and unsafe. Under WTO regime such restrictive practices are not allowed in the interest of a smooth global trade. If other developed countries also think the same way as the UK, this planet would be a much better place to live with hunger not threatening world peace.


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