Academic journal article Human Ecology Forum

The Cruel Weapon - Food

Academic journal article Human Ecology Forum

The Cruel Weapon - Food

Article excerpt

Using food as a weapon for political purposes has devastating consequences for innocent people and isn't even effective as a strategy, says Michael C. Latham, professor of nutritional sciences and director of the Program in International Nutrition.

"For years, the world community has been outraged at the increasing practice of attempting to change a country's politics by depriving its people of food. And the futility of it all is obvious: We've been blockading Cuba for three decades, yet Castro is still there. Our economic sanctions against Iraq have not removed Saddam Hussein from power. Nor will starving the people of Haiti remove the ruling military junta. Those in power always have plenty of food, and the lack of food for ordinary citizens doesn't tend to result in uprisings against their governments.

"In the case of war, food used as a weapon seldom seriously harms the armed combatants but rather causes starvation in children, women, and the elderly. It is an established fact that when in any conflict between nations or within nations one of the parties involved prevents food from reaching people in the opposing group, soldiers and combatants suffer much less from food shortages than do civilians. …

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