Friday, June 6, 2008

Food politics

The U.S. secretary of agriculture, Ed Schafer, talked about the benefits of biofuels and how genetically modified crops could ease world hunger. President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil spoke for half an hour about how Brazilian biofuels were superior to the U.S. offerings. The president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, talked about how colonialism had created the food crisis. And President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran spoke of the need to inject religion into food politics.

Everyone complained about protectionism, though not their own.

"We believe the problem is much more political than everything else," said Walter Poveda Ricaurte, the Ecuadorean agriculture minister. "We have to differentiate between the countries who are really affected by the food crisis and those who are seeing it as an economic opportunity." (Thanks Yaz)

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