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About borderlands VOLUME 10 NUMBER 3, 2011

Embodied Rights

Food security, the body, and GMOs

Bethaney Turner
University of Canberra

Access to adequate food is a fundamental human right enshrined within international law. However, contemporary discourses around what constitutes ‘adequate food’ fail to satisfactorily attend to the social and cultural meanings surrounding its production, distribution and consumption. This is most overtly expressed in discourses of food security, which provide the dominant policy framework for the realisation of this right. To address the lack of attention to the social and cultural aspects of ‘adequate food’, this paper explores the need for an embodied approach to the right to food by drawing on key theoretical conceptions of identity developed within cultural theory, including the work of Foucault, Grosz and Gatens. It argues that a more nuanced and comprehensive understanding of cultural and psycho-social constructions of subjectivity and the body must be factored into all efforts to uphold the legal obligations inherent in this right. These issues are explored through a focus on the role of GMOs in emergency food aid.

The full article is available as a PDF document: click here.

© borderlands ejournal 2011



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ISSN 1447-0810