Jean Ziegler, who has been the United Nations' independent expert on the right to food since the position was established in 2000, called for a five-year moratorium on biofuel production to halt what he called a growing "catastrophe" for the poor.Besides the fact that some scientists are worried about the greenhouse gases that come from biodiesel, there is the simple economics of the situation.
The world price of wheat doubled in one year and the price of corn quadrupled, leaving poor countries, especially in Africa, unable to pay for the imported food needed to feed their people, he said. And poor people in those countries are unable to pay the soaring prices for the food that does come in, he added.Glad to see that the Unintended Consequences have been found so soon. Those price changes are the real reason that everyone is so excited about bio-fuel.
"So it's a crime against humanity" to devote agricultural land to biofuel production, Ziegler said a news conference. "What has to be stopped is ... the growing catastrophe of the massacre (by) hunger in the world," he said.
As an example, he said, it takes 510 pounds of corn to produce 13 gallons of ethanol. That much corn could feed a child in Zambia or Mexico for a year.