Sunday, December 19, 2010

The wiki of biofuels and food crises which are not to be called crises

Another wiki leaks piece by Anne Gough on biofuels and food shortages

Wikileaks: Biofuels and Food Shortages.

Thanks to Yann.

The Wikileaks U.S. Government Cables have also revealed international complicity
in the land grab for biofuel production.

In a cable from 2008, a US government diplomat writes reports on a UK Food
Summit hosted by Gordon Brown (08LONDON1176,
2008/04/08LONDON1176.html). The participants discussed rising food prices, and
while they referred to it as a “crisis”, they agreed not to refer to it as a “crisis” in
public. Representatives from the OECD Trade & Agriculture Directorate and from
the Inter Food Policy Institute Research (IFPRI) said that maize prices would be
60% higher over the next ten years and advocated for a complete moratorium on
the use of maize for biofuel production.

At the same time representatives from the UK Environment Ministry, Agricultural
Industry giants Cargill and Sygenta and the Overseas Development Institute all
argued against “demonizing” biofuels and stated their belief that wheat and maize
prices would soon decrease. Oxford University professor Peter Collier, also in
attendance, took things a step further by scolding the European Union for not being
more open to Genetically Modified crops and advocated for large-scale biofuel farm
production in Africa, similar to Brazil.

Two years later, and we are facing a major global food crisis in 2011, as predicted by
the FAO, and wheat prices have risen by nearly two-thirds. Newspaper articles are
routinely documenting food prices. Without a moratorium on crops used for biofuel
production, what kind of food crises are we facing?

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