Jean Ziegler, the United Nations special rapporteur on the right to food, said the United States and the European Union have taken a "criminal path" by contributing to an explosive rise in global food prices by using food crops to produce biofuels.
Ziegler stated that last year the United States used a third of its corn crop to create biofuels, while the European Union is planning to have 10 percent of its petrol supplied by biofuels. He called for a five-year moratorium on the production of biofuels.
Ziegler also said that speculation on international markets is behind 30 percent of the increase in food prices. (Full)
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice admitted that setting aside farmland to produce biofuels like ethanol may be partly to blame for driving up world food prices. "There has been apparently some effect, unintended consequence from the alternative fuels effort". (Full)
Meanwhile President Bush President George Bush confirms he is deeply concerned about high food prices but believes ethanol production is responsible for only a small part of food inflation. "And the truth of the matter is, it's in our national interest that we - our farmers - grow energy, as opposed to us purchasing energy from parts of the world that are unstable or may not like us." (Full) (Ed: Oil first, food second?)
More posts on The Road about biofuel and the global food crisis.
Picture courtesy FAO, cartoon courtesy Carlson / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / Universal Press Syndicate