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Brazil: Decree Launches National Pact for Healthy Eating

(Nov. 10, 2015) On November 3, 2015, Brazil published Decree No. 8,353, which creates a National Pact for Healthy Eating (Pacto Nacional para Alimentação Saudável). The purpose of the Pact is to expand the supply, availability, and consumption of healthy foods and to combat overweight, obesity, and disease caused by a poor diet. (Decreto No. 8.553, de 3 de Novembro de 2015, art. 1, PLANALTO.)

Brazil’s states, the Federal District, municipalities, civil society organizations, international organizations, and the private sector may join the Pact. (Decreto No. 8.353, art 1 § 1.) The Pact declares that regional, cultural, and socio-economic circumstances and the special dietary needs of the population must be taken into consideration by these actors when implementing the Pact. (Id. art 1 § 2.)

The guidelines for the Pact include:

  • promoting the human right to adequate food;
  • fostering access to quality food in an adequate amount, considering the diversity of food choices and the social and cultural features of the population;
  • taking joint actions to combat overweight, obesity, and disease caused by a poor diet; and
  • strengthening policies that promote the organization and marketing of family farming production. (Id. art. 2.)

The Decree defines the main objectives of the Pact as:

  • to increase the supply and availability of healthy foods, especially the foods produced from family farming, organic sources, agro ecological farms, and places encouraging socio-biodiversity;
  • to reduce the use of pesticides and encourage agro-ecological food production models;
  • to promote food and nutrition education in health care, schools, and social assistance services;
  • to promote healthy eating habits for the Brazilian population;
  • to progressively reduce the sugar, fat, and sodium content in processed and ultra-processed foods;
  • to encourage the consumption of healthy foods in the school environment and the regulation of marketing, advertising, and commercial promotion of food and drink in public and private schools nationwide;
  • to strengthen the marketing and supply policies related to family farming; and
  • to improve the regulatory frameworks for processing, agro-industrialization, and commercialization of home-grown agricultural products. (Id. art. 3.)

The Pact will be managed and coordinated by the Inter-Ministerial Chamber on Food and Nutrition Security (Câmara Interministerial de Segurança Alimentar e Nutricional). (Id. art. 4.)