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Labour MSP Rhoda Grant pledges to enshrine 'legal Right to Food' in new year

By Niall Harkiss

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Labour MSP Rhoda Grant has responded to the decision of The Scottish Government to delay the implementation of the National Good Food Nation Plan by pledging to "enshrine" a Human Right to Food in Scots Law early in the new year.

The Highland MSP’s proposal to incorporate the human right to food into Scots Law was first lodged on September 2, 2021.

Labour MSP Rhoda Grant has pledged to enshrine her "Right to Food" bill in Scots Law next year.
Labour MSP Rhoda Grant has pledged to enshrine her "Right to Food" bill in Scots Law next year.


But in an amendment to the Good Food Nation (Scotland) Act 2022 regulations, the Scottish Government have lodged legislation to delay rolling out the National Good Food Nation Plan for six months.

The Act, which was passed in 2022, requires the Scottish Government, local authorities and health boards to create food plans, which is overseen by a new independent food commission.

No public statement was made on the delay, with MSPs finding out through an amendment to the bill put forward at a Holyrood Committee.

MSP Rhoda Grant said “It is scandalous that so many people across the Highlands and Islands are going hungry, cutting back or relying on foodbanks this Christmas.

“We need action at every level to tackle this shameful food poverty crisis and enshrine in law a legal Right to Food.

“This delay will lead to more people suffering, more people at risk of malnutrition issues such as obesity, more people at risk to diseases such as rickets, and action to deal with food poverty delayed.

“At a time when the NHS is under real strain; the health, social and economic costs of poor diet is increasing meaning action is already urgent. Yet the Scottish Government are delaying the very actions that target food poverty. Sadly, this Government seems unable to deliver on any of its promises.

“I have asked the Government to explain why they have delayed. Local authorities and health boards need clarity in order to plan how to implement the detail contained in this National Good Food Nation Plan.

She added: “Access to healthy, nutritious food is a human right but this needs to underpinned and reinforced by a commitment in law. That is why my proposed Right to Food Bill would enshrine the human right to food into Scots Law. It would create a legal requirement to ensure everyone has sufficient access to good quality food throughout the country.”

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