8 April 2008


The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food is demanding an international five-year ban on producing biofuels to combat soaring food prices.

Switzerland's Jean Ziegler said the conversion of arable land for plants used for green fuel had led to an explosion of agricultural prices which was punishing poor countries forced to import their food at a greater cost.

"232kg of corn is needed to make 50 litres of bioethanol," Ziegler said. "A child could live on that amount of corn for a year."

Whilst falling short of calling for a moratorium the UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon has called for a comprehensive review of the policy on biofuels as a crisis in global food prices - partly caused by the increasing use of crops for energy generation - threatens to trigger global instability.

The promotion of bio-fuels as a solution to climate change and global warming is also opposed by environmental groups such as Friends of the Earth

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