- Running on empty: EPA slashes biofuel goals because of ethanol shortage
- ‘Gay Jeans’ that fade into rainbow-colored denim created
- Divided court strikes down big porn award
- Jimmy Carter: Don’t hurt Russian people with sanctions
- Oldest ex-MLB player dies in Cuba, 2 days shy of 103rd birthday
- ‘Top Gun’ for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy’s approval
- Bill Clinton to endorse Charlie Rangel for re-election
- Pfc. Bradley Manning is now Pfc. Chelsea Manning: Court says so
- Secret base U.S. special forces used to train Libyans now under terrorist control: report
- 9th suspect in N.C. kidnapping turns self in to FBI
Biofuel growth adds to hunger
NEW YORK (AP) — Many of the world’s poorest people are unable to get enough food because of soaring prices partly caused by the use of food crops to produce biofuels, the head of the U.N. food agency said.
“We’re seeing more people hungry and at greater numbers than before,” Josette Sheeran, executive director of the Rome-based World Food Program, said in an interview yesterday.
Higher oil prices are contributing to steeper food prices by boosting transportation costs, and severe weather is hitting many countries and hurting crop output, she said.
“We’re seeing many people being priced out of the food markets for the first time,” said Mrs. Sheeran, who was at U.N. headquarters for a General Assembly debate on global warming.
“For the world’s most vulnerable, it’s extremely urgent,” she added.
The World Food Program provides food aid around the globe. Mrs. Sheeran said the amount of food the agency can afford to buy for hungry children is down 40 percent from five years ago.
One of the problems is the drive to use corn, soybeans, sugar cane and other crops to produce biofuels, which is seen as a cleaner and cheaper way to meet soaring energy needs than greenhouse-gas-emitting fossil fuels. That has led to reduced availability of grain, driving up prices for basic food products in many countries.
Another U.N. agency in Rome, the Food and Agriculture Organization, said yesterday that about 100 million tons of cereal grains are being diverted to the production of biofuels each year. Nearly all of that is corn — 12 percent of all the corn consumed around the globe, the FAO said.
The agency, which promotes agriculture improvements, said the biofuel uses and growing demand for food have pushed world food stocks to their lowest levels since 1982.
It estimated that food stocks would total 405 million tons at the end of the current season, a 5 percent drop from the start.
Mrs. Sheeran said more must be done to supply food to the neediest while markets adjust to the biofuel demand.
“More food will be produced. Farmers will respond, and maybe there’ll be investment in the African farmer for the first time, for example, in many decades,” she said.
“When that happens, we’ll get increased food in the food-supply system. But there’s a lag, so we have people very vulnerable right now who can’t afford the food.”
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Obama's veil of secrecy is pierced
- 'Top Gun' for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy's approval
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with 'full-time' robots
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Obama avoids 'red line' for China, prepared to impose tougher sanctions on Russia
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- Russian bombers buzz U.K. airspace; jets scrambled to chase off 'Bears'
- Kansas will nullify local regulation of guns
- ISTOOK: Obama's sleight of hand hides hidden government's work
- CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014