Corn Ethanol Pushes up Food Prices

by Chris Sturr | September 11, 2008

From a recent World Bank report, via the newsletter of Union of Concerned Scientists; hat-tip to Arthur MacEwan for this:

Food prices have shot up 170 percent in the past six years, putting a serious burden on the world’s poor and causing food riots in some countries, according to a new report from the World Bank. The report found that the increase was largely caused by U.S. and European government support for biofuels, particularly corn ethanol. Government policies that diverted grain from food to biofuel uses include tariffs on imports, export bans and restrictions, and subsidies for energy companies. The report estimated that other influences such as higher energy and fertilizer costs and the weaker dollar account for only about 25-30 percent of the increased costs, while biofuel production accounts for the rest.

Read the full report.

Read an article on the food crisis by D&S collective member Ben Collins.

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