|AP / Pier Paolo Cito|
Abdolreza Abbassian of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization briefs journalists Friday at a special U.N. meeting in Rome prompted by worries over high food prices.
The U.N. is warning that the world may be on the cusp of a new major food crisis as the result of a wave of recent environmental disasters (heat waves, floods, wildfires) and capitalist disasters (market speculation, inflation) that are pushing up the price of foodstuffs. —JCL
The world may be on the brink of a major new food crisis caused by environmental disasters and rampant market speculators, the UN was warned today at an emergency meeting on food price inflation.
The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) meeting in Rome today was called last month after a heatwave and wildfires in Russia led to a draconian wheat export ban and food riots broke out in Mozambique, killing 13 people. But UN experts heard that pension and hedge funds, sovereign wealth funds and large banks who speculate on commodity markets may also be responsible for inflation in food prices being seen across all continents.
In a new paper released this week, Olivier De Schutter, the UN’s special rapporteur on food, says that the increases in price and the volatility of food commodities can only be explained by the emergence of a “speculative bubble” which he traces back to the early noughties.