“Hunger is not a food production problem. It is an income problem”
By Stephen Leahy
UXBRIDGE, Canada, Jan 28, 2011 (IPS)
Billions of dollars are being made by investors in a speculative “food bubble” that’s created record food prices, starving millions and destabilising countries, experts now conclude.
[This is the second of a multi-part series investigating what is driving food prices higher]
Wall Street investment firms and banks, along with their kin in London and Europe, were responsible for the technology dot-com bubble, the stock market bubble, and the recent U.S. and UK housing bubbles. They extracted enormous profits and their bonuses before the inevitable collapse of each.
Now they’ve turned to basic commodities. The result? At a time when there has been no significant change in the global food supply or in food demand, the average cost of buying food shot up 32 percent from June to December 2010, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
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Nothing but price speculation can explain wheat prices jumping 70 percent from June to December last year when global wheat stocks were stable, experts say.
“There is no food shortage in the world. Food is simply priced out of the reach of the world’s poorest people,” said Robert Fox of Oxfam Canada in reference to the estimated one billion people who go hungry.
“Hunger is not a food production problem. It is an income problem,” Fox told IPS. Continue reading