Biofuels under attack as world food prices soar

Linked with Jean Ziegler – Switzerland, and with New Technology Foresees Trees, not Grain, in the Tank.

Published on Agence France Press, by AFP, April 20, 2008.

PARIS (AFP) – Hailed until only months ago as a silver bullet in the fight against global warming, biofuels are now accused of snatching food out of the mouths of the poor.

Billions have been poured into developing sugar- and grain-based ethanol and biodiesel to help wean rich economies from their addiction to carbon-belching fossil fuels, the overwhelming source of man-made global warming.

Heading the rush are the United States, Brazil and Canada, which are eagerly transforming corn, wheat, soy beans and sugar cane into cleaner-burning fuel, and the European Union (EU) is to launch its own ambitious programme.

But as soaring prices for staples bring more of the planet’s most vulnerable people face-to-face with starvation, the image of biofuels has suddenly changed from climate saviour to a horribly misguided experiment.


On Friday, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said biofuels “posed a real moral problem” and called for a moratorium on using food crops to power cars, trucks and buses.

The vital problem of global warming “has to be balanced with the fact that there are people who are going to starve to death,” said Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

“Producing biofuels is a crime against humanity,” the UN’s special rapporteur for the right to food, Jean Ziegler of Switzerland, said earlier … (full text).

See same on Inquirer.net, April 22, 2008, and on DW-world.de, April 14, 2008.

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