Monday, June 02, 2008

Biofuel land demand puts peasants at risk

By Robin Pomeroy

ROME (Reuters) - The rise of biofuels is not only adding to the global food price crisis but also poses a risk for peasants, pushed off their land to make way for energy crops, a report prepared for this week's food summit said. The use of food such as maize, palm oil and sugar to produce fuel has been blamed in part for record high commodity prices which are driving millions of people into hunger, and will be a key issue discussed by world leaders at the Rome summit.

Condemned as a "crime against humanity" last year by the then U.N. food rapporteur, Jean Ziegler, critics of biofuels say they divert nutrition away from mouths and into fuel tanks and compete for land that should be used to grow food. Both the United States and the European Union have policies promoting the use of biofuels as alternatives as a way to reduce reliance on crude oil. (More here: Reuters)

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