Brasil's CONSEA abolished - Sign the petition

Tuesday, January 8, 2019 - 5:17pm

Photo: Elizabetta Recine, Former President of CONSEA Brazil, at Food Secure Canada's 10th Assembly. Credit: Nadia Zhang

In November 2018, the president of Brazil's National Council for Food and Nutrition Security (CONSEA), Elisabetta Recine, joined 800 people at Food Secure's Canada Assembly. She spoke compellingly of the role that the CONSEA has played in Brazil, and the importance of participatory food governance. As we continue to advocate for a National Food Policy Council here in Canada, it was an inspiration and example of what could be possible.

However on January 1, 2019, the CONSEA was abolished on the same day that President Jair Bolsonaro took office. This is an affront not only to participatory governance, but also to the body that worked for some major wins in policy: having the right to food recognized in the country's constitution, and the procurement of sustainable food from family farms for the national school food program, among many other achievements.

Join FSC in signing the petition to the Brazilian government, signalling that this is unacceptable and to help protect the right to food.



Here is a statement from Cecilia Rocha*, sent to us in January 2019.

In 2010, the Brazilian congress approved an amendment to the country’s constitution to add the Right to Adequate Food. That was the culmination of a popular campaign, coordinated by the civil society-led National Council for Food and Nutrition Security (CONSEA). An advisory body to the national government, since 2003 CONSEA has been behind a number of important policies adopted in the country, such as the program for direct procurement of food from family farmers, and the improvements in the National School Food program.

On January 1, 2019, CONSEA was abolished. This “provisory measure” by the newly installed government of president Jair Bolsonaro still needs to be approved by congress, but it is now in place.

We need time to comprehend the full impact of this act, but its symbolism is very clear. The new government is signalling its rupture with priorities of the past fifteen years, such as the elimination of hunger and other forms of food insecurity.  It is also signalling how it plans to govern, with no room for participatory democracy.


*Cecilia Rocha is Director and Professor at the School of Nutrition of Ryerson University. She is also Research Associate at the Centre for Studies in Food Security and Member of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems.



This video (with English subtitles) is a complaint from the APIB (Articulation of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil) about the first attacks of the Bolsonaro government against the native peoples, for the widest national and international circulation.