FULL: A New Discovery Tool for Global Food Laws
The Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI) and the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law’s Global Center for Legal Innovation in Food Environments launched FULL, a new website that houses over 100 legal documents and court decisions related to measures aimed at reducing diet-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs) from Barbados, Brazil, Colombia, Jamaica and South Africa. This site provides a user-friendly portal for advocates, lawyers, journalists and policymakers to access the latest legal sources, explore legal frameworks, and compare up-to-date legal provisions by country. As momentum grows in the push for public policy that fosters a healthier nutrition landscape, this website serves as a vital reference tool in identifying existing laws and regulations to inform future advocacy efforts.
FULL is the latest product of the partnership between GHAI and the O’Neil Institute, forged by a joint desire to positively impact health outcomes of communities globally and is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Food Policy Program. Understanding the legal underpinnings of healthy food policies is necessary to achieve successful advocacy efforts around curbing the prevalence of diet-related NCDs. This site provides key examples of such laws, with summaries and key issues for each of them and access to the documents in its original language. These resources provide advocates and academics with points of comparison that can be used as a public policy blueprint.
The legal documents available on the site pertain largely to four main food policy areas. One can explore legislation focused on restrictions of marketing, advertisements, and/or promotion of unhealthy foods and beverages, the regulation of school environments, front-of-pack nutrition labeling and fiscal policies that promote healthier diets by making unhealthy food and beverages more expensive and/or healthy food and beverages more accessible. These four issues continue to be the focal point of GHAI’s Food Policy global advocacy efforts because of their major influence on community health.
Additionally, FULL highlights legal frameworks applicable to diet-related NCD prevention such as fundamental food rights and regulations governing allowable contents of foods. It also provides background information on each countries’ constitutions, legislation, administrative acts and programmatic documents, as they pertain to the intersection of food and public health. This gives readers an opportunity to review existing public policy enacted at multiple levels of government and administrative bodies.
A successful advocacy campaign hinges on the ability to enact legislation that is lawful and contains secure implementation language. Ladyane Souza, an ACT lawyer in Brazil remarked, “FULL is an essential tool for healthy food policy legal work and advocacy since it offers an exchange of cases, incidence, and experiences among 6 countries, based on public policies related to food. This unprecedented exchange of documents and experiences can be strategic for advancing arguments, evidence, and human rights.”
Through the launch of FULL, GHAI is adding another important tool to its arsenal of advocacy resources. Through FULL, GHAI aims to provide advocates with an easy way to know what existing laws and policies are and, more specifically, how they are written.
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