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Food vs fuel

The Grain Farmers of Ontario would like us to believe that the food versus fuel debate is over, but that is far from true. Their report, which was covered in your Aug. 18 articleBiofuel not source of hunger: reportsays that biofuels have boosted crop prices for Canadian farmers, but had no impact on world hunger.

Most others who have studied the issue would disagree. The marketplace for food commodities is global, and when farmgate prices in Canada are rising, then so are market prices for consumers in Ethiopia.

Contrary to the report’s claim that “the number of hungry people has remained at around 900 million for 40 years”, global hunger actually increased to over one billion in the aftermath of the 2007-08 food price crisis, with biofuels as one of the lead factors.

The growth of the biofuel industry in Canada and other countries is a significant part of the reason why the world’s poor are finding it increasingly difficult to afford adequate food.

Paul Hagerman,

Director of Public Policy,

Canadian Foodgrains Bank, Winnipeg, Man.

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