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Are we heading towards a global food crisis?

09:45 UK time, Friday, 24 September 2010

A special UN meeting has concluded that good harvests and adequate cereal stocks should mean recent rises in food prices ease. Are you concerned?

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said its food prices index had risen 25% since last year.

Price rises have already sparked riots in Mozambique, but experts agreed there was no indication of an impending world food crisis.
The FAO's top grain expert, Abdolreza Abbassian, said "the spillover effects are nothing like we had in 2007-8, because a lot of other conditions that we had in 2007-8 which led to that sort of situation fortunately are not present."

Have you noticed the cost of food rising where you are? Should there be more regulation of food markets? Should countries maintain emergency food stocks?

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    Oh I see. Now the rich people crashed the stock market and took all our money they are now looking at a new way they take more money. So now food prices are going to go through the roof and our weak, spineless politicians won't do a thing about it.

  • Comment number 2.

    "Have you noticed the cost of food rising where you are?"

    yes, AND I've heard (BBC) reports on how traders in the City of London cause commodity prices to rise (cocoa was the last example I remember); therefore it seems resonable to argue that any crisis will be made worse by our current 'free for all' capitalist system.

  • Comment number 3.

    Those monster money masters had not enough out of the present public crisis, so they are going to create the next one...

  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 5.

    This is the one area where speculation should be outlawed both in the US and the EU.

    Hedging is a valid way to smooth out costs of staple products. Speculation and the purchase of product "lock ups" is an unfair distortion of the market.

    Unless there is control of food prices in world markets people are going to die not only of starvation but in food rioting around the developing world.

  • Comment number 6.

    Given that a large proportion of the UK and US have already eaten enough to see them through to about 2012 we should be OK. Maybe morbid obesity is the ultimate futures market!

  • Comment number 7.

    One of the causes of high grain prices, amongst others, is that last year America became a nett importer of wheat. The reason? America's fetish for bio-fuel where they now have more farmland dedicated to bio-fuel than farmland for wheat.

  • Comment number 8.

    Wild fluctuations in commodity prices are normally a good thing because they are lucrative and help to grease the wheels of the globalised system.
    But if such fluctuations are damaging to the free market then it would be economically wise to remove the surplus of people.
    It’s provident that we have the “natural wastage” mechanisms of famine and starvation to help us to leverage the size of the market.
    Market forces will of course reduce the market in other ways by pricing out countries whose people can no longer afford food, this must be allowed to continue unhindered.
    The future is bright and indeed more lucrative for those of us at the top of the “food chain” if you pardon the metaphor.

  • Comment number 9.

    I'm sure it was reported that the USA had a bumper grain harvest last year and therefore has huge stores of grain to meet the shortages this year in Russia.

    Of course to release this grain it would be best if market prices were artificially high. Its interesting how we are all victims of capitalism even if we dont live in capitalist countries.

    In the longer term farming efficiency can improve to produce more per hectare using modern methods and machinery. Russia can easily meet the challenge here.

    However, it always stuns me how the rich liberals with fat stomachs want to deprive the poor and the starving the means to feed themselves by bleating on about potential problems with GM crops, personally if I was starving I wouldnt care if my fish, meat or bread was GM just as long as my family can live to tomorrow.

  • Comment number 10.

    Global food crisis? Yes!

    Go figure yourself... just like any other parasite, unless the human race stops expanding it will eventually use up everything and kill the the only planet in the universe which is currently available to us.

    Probably, before that happens there will be terrible wars of annihilation. Why did YOU think Iran wants nuclear weapons?

    The only way to prevent total disaster is to curb population growth, but how?

    Poverty stricken parents rely on large families to provide for them in old age while rich countries breed just for the sheer joy of it, it seems?

    I don't have the answer but if there is one, perhaps it lies in the curbing of greed and selfishness as much as it lies in the take up of responsibility and effort by the impoverished.

    But is there an alternative to greed and one-upmanship the only things which make us those sacrifice lazy blissful stress-free days for wealth... slogging it out in harsh industrial/office conditions, rushing everywhere in oil driven machines, grabbing plastic food and denying time to our kids?

    Have fun,

    Ian

  • Comment number 11.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 12.

    We have already seen what the effect of using food as a weapon has been. By Mengistu in Ethiopia, and in other African regions. Resulting in millions dead.

    Undoubtedly the rich will use their control of food supplies to increase their control over the rest of humanity. However, it would be totally wrong to imagine that GM foods or certain types of plant could be a solution. THE major problem is lack of WATER.

    Agriculture, in particular sweet corn, is water intensive. (As is rice).
    ======

    "9. At 11:39am on 24 Sep 2010, George wrote:
    However, it always stuns me how the rich liberals with fat stomachs want to deprive the poor and the starving the means to feed themselves by bleating on about potential problems with GM crops, personally if I was starving I wouldnt care if my fish, meat or bread was GM just as long as my family can live to tomorrow."

    It is obvious that the GM crowd will try to use scarcity and famine to increase their hold on the world's food supply. Thus Bill Gates buys up African land and Monsanto shares at the same time. However, GM foods (and Glysophate based insecticides) cost MORE than the locals can pay. So that famine becomes worse as they are forced off their land, as foreign billionaires and sovereign states buy up their means of staying alive. It is the callousness capitalism of GM food producers that is the biggest threat for world starvation.

    Just as an aside George; Franken-salmon are supposed to be OK'd for human consumption by tests provided by the producers, one on a group of SIX fish, (no more, carefully chosen, and deformed fish excluded from the study). This is not even the pretense of being scientific, and for once there is an argument within the FDA about allowing them. They would NOT be labelled either, as "animals" do not have to be mentioned as GM (Think cloned cows in the UK and elsewhere).

  • Comment number 13.


    Countries resources should be focused on the practicality of food production and sharing ahead of scientific vanity projects like space exploration or particle colliders.

  • Comment number 14.

    YES! Food-prices, are very un-reasonably high, in the American Midwest. I am semi-retired and I live on a fixed income, plus I receive a $40 @ Mnth. food aid stipend. I blame only the Public, for the high-prices, though. Too many People buying chips & soda, which are NOT food, yet sold as food!!

  • Comment number 15.

    Overpopulation will destroy the world. But we don't want to tell people especially in the third world to stop breeding do we? They might take offence and being politically correct is more important than the fate of humanity. Meanwhile lets send the third world billions of pounds in aid we cannot afford so they can breed as much as they want. And remember how Labour inflated the population of Britain by flooding the country with immigrants in the hope they would vote Labour? Their stupidity and selfishness was breathtaking.

  • Comment number 16.

    we could stop throwing so much food away, that'd be a start.

  • Comment number 17.

    Heading towards one?! There already is one - it's just that people in rich countries don't or won't acknowledge it while it doesn't affect them.

  • Comment number 18.

    Of course.

    Anyone surprised.

    STOP BREEDING!

  • Comment number 19.


    Instead of the UN and other leaders theorizing ways to reduce global population if they spread the wealth the whole of humanity could be fed quite comfortably.

    As another comment topic has highlighted - "science" and its pursuits into Trillion dollar and pound investigations and experiments such as space exploration, immoral embryonic research and particle colliders are superfluous to basic human needs.

    When you think how many in the world are starving and living below the poverty line, and the majority of global resources are being poured into scientific vanity projects it really is wrong and immoral.

    such scientific projects would be a good place to cut and put those funds towards feeding the starving and giving them farming resources.

  • Comment number 20.

    A world with 10 billion people needs an increase of its arable land including irrigation and chemicals in the soil. Farms must produce more food or the prices will inflate. If the agricultural systems are based on fruits, vegetables, nuts, melons, grains, rice, sugar, mushrooms, spices, and berries rather than meat, then a solution is simple.

  • Comment number 21.

    In order to not exhaust the food supply, a population curb is needed. I think the only real answer is mass sterilisation, here & abroad.

    And before the "oh I suppose you will be first to volunteer" comments come pouring in - I have actually. I have had my tubes tied at age 25, although I am a young able-bodied relatively well off Brit. Frankly I am not selfish enough to bring a child into this world. I don't care who supports me into old age. If no one does and I die off then so be it, natural selection and all that. And hopefully my death can make room for another.

  • Comment number 22.

    This is another overblown bit of hype.

    There is plenty of food for all, but maybe not enough of the right kind for some. Who cares whether the prices of imported foods go sky high, or a few of them are unavailable because of crop failure? We've managed before, and we can do it again, easily. We just eat what we have, and make do by actually getting out of our TV armchairs and cooking a proper meal for a change. Much can be done with little, but so many consumers are just too lazy to prepare proper food. They're certainly too lazy to grow their own.

    And please don't let me hear someone bleating about the under-priviledged and those on low incomes. Time and again I see these types shovelling a half-eaten plate of chips and beans into the kitchen bin after swilling the inevitable can of lager.

  • Comment number 23.

    Wait till the water runs out. Agree with those who argue for population control, the Chinese have made a good start. Issue contraception rather than £500 million aid, most of which will be eaten up by corruption. It is in the interest of the rulers of poverty stricken countries to keep their people poor so that they can keep claiming aid and line their own pockets. The super rich in so called 'stricken' countries would not dream of putting their hands in their pockets, so are these countries really poor or just suffer from unequal distribution of wealth?

  • Comment number 24.

    Confirms everything Vince Cable said.

    Short-term profiteering at the expense of society. Vile.

  • Comment number 25.

    There would be less of a problem if so much food wasn't wasted in storage warehouses supermarkets and homes either left to go rotten or remaining unsold.

    However it is a crime against humanity to allow food to be bought and sold as a commodity to be stored or wasted simply to keep prices artificially high. Just so some city 'spiv' can have a new Merc, the villa in Tuscany or a yacht in the Adriatic whilst people in Africa, Asia and South America starve

  • Comment number 26.

    Resource wars are the wars of the future, the 3rd World will be the battleground.

  • Comment number 27.

    If this notion originated in the UN's department of gloom and doom then I will outright reject it.

  • Comment number 28.

    Are we heading towards a global food crisis? Really, wow never saw that one coming. The world's over populated so want did people expect?

  • Comment number 29.

    @ 1. Icebloo - Our Politicians are not spineless - they purely listening to the needs and wants of their powerful friends who own / run Businesses, Corporations and Banks, not the taxpaying, voting public who put them into power in the first place.

    They ARE CORRUPT.

    They are wealthy.

    They are getting rich very, very quick and the gap between rich and poor is accelerating faster than ever as THEY race towards globalisation to line their pockets at our enormous expense.

    They have flooded the UK (& EU) with immigrants to feed the wants of Businesses keeping our salaries & pensions low while their Salary, pension, perks and bonuses increase dramatically.

    Nick Clegg has just announced that he is increasing overseas aid from £150 million to £500 million of our money to pay for countries whos birth control knows no bounds, let alone how much of it falls into the hands of corrupt officials (this is on top of what he is giving to the dreadful unelected EU). This increase to £500 million will happen at a time after the next election when in the UK our VAT will be at 20%, fuel duty increases on top and on top of that, they are looking at increasing the Council tax banding on every home in the UK. This will also be in around 5 years when the Government themselves are predicting an energy crisis AND now they are also suggesting a food crisis!!.

  • Comment number 30.

    It's hard to believe so many comments are blaming overpopulation. Please research the actual human fertility rates; they are dropping like a rock even in the most underdeveloped countries. The human population is not "doubling every 40 years", if it ever was then that was 50 years ago.

    The population is set to go into decline around 2050 when it will peak around 9 billion. Come 2100 the vast majority of us will be too old to work. That will be a real disaster.

    Food shortages are being caused by the current fad for biofuels and that suits the speculators who profit from human misery just fine.

    Those denouncing overpopulation should really go back to the 1960's where they belong. It's simply not true. The BBC should educate these poor fools.

  • Comment number 31.

    The world grows enough to feed everyone yet millions starve. The crisis is political and economic and is all about feeding the bank accounts of the rich.

    We could grow most of our food needs in the UK yet we import half of what we consume.

    The answer remains and has always been local production,consumption and trade of surplus all in the control of the local producers. We are so far from that simple reality though that yes I am afraid.

  • Comment number 32.

    During the height of the recession, under the heading "Morpheal's Commentary" I wrote numerous articles, in Usenet, China Daily and other internet venues, stressing the importance of food production, using more modern means. During the Obama campaign I stressed the need for renewal and modernization in support of U.S. agriculture. During the recent Gulf oil spill I stressed the need to turn to aquaculture, fish farming, for food production. In every forum I have stressed the need for massive investment into food production as the way out of the recession, and as the long term plan for the preservation of world peace and for the betterment of the human condition worldwide. This has all fallen on deaf ears, and discarded in the manner reserved for ignorance, while the EU, China, the USA, and others have continued to voice support for other goods, while failing to support technical and scientific modernization of food production as the major issue. We must further consider that in the biotechnical era that we have entered, the biotechnical sword can be used to destroy a nation's food supply, as well as for massive improvement to capabilities for food production. So there is a strategic concern added to the human concern. One is driven to abandon any hope for even the sleightest common sense among leading economists, and the world's leading governments, and one must question their motives and sanity as events continue to unfold, taking this century deeper and deeper into peril of unprecedented world war and food driven conflict.

  • Comment number 33.

    Everyone's already worrying at a lack of resources, maybe the issue is a surplus of people? I find myself appalled whenever anyone sees it as just a matter of fact that we'll soon hit eight or nine billion people. THAT is going to be a major disaster.

  • Comment number 34.

    We are in a global food crisis. Three quarters of the world is starving while a quarter is obese. This is a crisis.

  • Comment number 35.

    May be I've been around to long but the Russian wheat shortage seems to be another excuse for commodity brokers to raise food prices through speculation. If we could get rid of corrupt government policies in the West who control much of the food and get rid of corrupt governments in the impoverished nations who also profit from receiving it we would be fine. Regardless of the size of population there is enough for everybody the key is getting it to the right areas and for the West to less greedy both for food and cash.

  • Comment number 36.

    As world populations explode, these headlines are going to become more and more commonplace.

    The answer simply is population reduction to around 4 to 5 billion to be comfortably sustainable providing other sustainable approaches to how we live are adopted.

    The population explosion that had been assisted by Governments who think it is a good idea to give billions in foreign aid to assist survival rates in cultures where large families are the norm and then worlds problems are solved - I beleive the worlds problems are now becoming exaserbated as a result of population explosion and famine, disease and global suffering are just decades away, far bigger and much worse than they are now. Food shortages and food security are set to drive up prices rapidly.

  • Comment number 37.

    Yes, I've noticed a rise in food prices. It coincides with a rise in supermarket profits and inflation.

    No, there should be less regulation attached to food production for many reasons. Everytime a food unit is subject to regulation, it adds a price increase.

    In our situation, the EU are much to blame for a price rise since they subject our food to such stringent regulations. That is, they require uniformity in food products, particularly raw products, which means nonetheless nutritional and edible food being rejected for human consumtpion for being "wonky".

    Lastly, the red tape attached to food products produced in the UK needs to be reduced or eradicated. That red tape has been applied by Labour to create jobs for the boys (i.e. regulation of said red tape requires people power). I'm all for keeping people in jobs, but I am not for people having to make the stark choice between eating and heating etc.

  • Comment number 38.

    I mentioned this to David and his eyes lit up. He rushed to his folders marked 'allotments' and 'small scale agricultural profit making'.

    He thinks he is having a brain wave. I think he is overworking his brain cell again. I am really quite worried about him. Last time this happened he woke up in a sweat believing he was a junior partner to Hitler in the war.

    Do you think we could all do him a favour and have an election?

  • Comment number 39.

    Obviously
    It is not a disputable fact that we are heading for a major problem.
    The only dispute is when..


    If the human race keeps expanding at the rate it is then at some point it will reach the point where it is unable to feed itself however efficient the source of food is.

    What is in debate is whether we can water the deserts, scrap the rainforests, plough up the antartic, fertilize the land we already use to ever greater production.

    The answer is we can't do all of those things, and even if we did it only delays the inevitable.

    We will end up in a situation where there are 2 things on the planet, humans and the most efficient food to grow / eat, there is no other natural outcome.

    Of course, if the Catholic church, Muslim faiths and similar idiotic and head in the sand religious orders were to realise this they might start preachign at their adherents the basic intelligence of using contraception to limit themselves to 1 child a family. This would bring the population down (allowing for an occasional mistake) which in the long term would solve food and global warming questions, allow us to keep biodiversity, the wilderness and rainforests. I doubt it will happen - I mean the current pope hasn't the intelligence or balls, and the muslims think they can breed so much that they can over run the rest of us.

  • Comment number 40.

    Worthless people live only to eat and drink; people of worth eat and drink only to live.

  • Comment number 41.

    Patrick #33.

    "I find myself appalled whenever anyone sees it as just a matter of fact that we'll soon hit eight or nine billion people. THAT is going to be a major disaster."

    why, do you not think that have both sufficient stocks of weapons and the will to wage unjustifyable wars to take care of "THAT".

  • Comment number 42.

    The UK should be self sufficient in crop growth - if not - then serious questions need to be asked - and quick results found. There must not be an EU wheat mountain - the price should fluctuate as with all goods, and in a good year should fall.
    The EU have been price fixing for years with their interference and this must stop.
    The UK must grow for itself, we must not import.
    I am hopeful of the new government to place restrictions on imports or all goods to establish our home markets again

  • Comment number 43.

    BBC we had a virtually identical posting only 3 days ago (for food shortage read population pressure.)

    Having trouble coming up with ideas?

  • Comment number 44.

    Are we headed towards a global food crisis?
    Yes, but it is human-made, another product of greed and manipulation - another get rich scheme that will offer the side-benefit of starving the surplus poor.
    Monsanto/ biotechnology:
    GENETIC ENGINEERING:
    One of the most dubious claims made by Monsanto is the assertion that the widespread use of food biotechnology is the only way to feed the world's poor. The argument: Millions of people currently go hungry in developing countries. In the future, as global population increases, this problem is set to worsen. Only high yield agriculture can possibly produce enough food to meet this increased demand. Therefore, quite obviously, only "biotechnology can feed the world."
    Monsanto asked: By what right do well-fed Western environmentalists deny the poor farmers of the Third World access to this wonderful new technology?
    Repercussions
    In trying to use developing countries as experimental dumping grounds, Monsanto is alienating the very people it claimed to be supporting: the poor.
    In India, where millions of peasant farmers still live a life of subsistence agriculture, the corporation is facing a crisis. Starting on November 28, 1998, in Sindhanoor, in the Indian state of Karnataka, the leader of the Karnataka State Farmers Association (KRRS) came to India's first Monsanto test sites. The owner of the field, Basanna Hunsole, came out to greet him. With the help of Basanna's neighbours, a number of KRRS members, other local grassroots organizations representing 'untouchables' and landless farmers, they proceeded to tear up all the genetically modified cotton plants. They stacked them in a heap in the middle of the field, and set them on fire. In minutes, Monsanto's test crop was reduced to ashes.
    This was the initial fight-back: 'Operation Cremate Monsanto'. Professor Nanjundaswamy, a committed Gandhian and leader of the KRRS, issued a statement to the press as the field burned. "We denounce the ignorance, incompetence and irresponsibility of out Government to gamble with the future of Indian agriculture." He went on to demand that all tests of genetically modified crops in India be stopped, that the country's Patent Act be amended to stop the patenting of basic crop varieties, and that Monsanto be banned from the country.
    Since that first action, at least three more Monsanto test sites have been burned, in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, and more cremations are promised.
    Monsanto has been operating in India since 1949, and is a market leader in agricultural chemicals. In recent years it has spent much time and money trying to win over Indian politicians and officials to the cause of GM crops.
    Monsanto apparently didn't trust Indian farmers to swallow its propaganda; so, in order to avoid time-consuming persuation, Monsanto grew GM crops on the farmer's land without telling him. This is what happened to Basanna Hun. According to the farmer, he was approached in July 1998 by officials from Mahyco Monsanto, who offered him the chance to grow free of charge a new variety of cotton, which they claimed would give him wonderful results. They omitted to tell him that the cotton was genetically modified.
    Basana Hunsole said that the GM 'bollgard' cotton grew "miserably", and reached less than half the height of the traditional strains he was growing in nearby fields. Worst of all, they were heavily infested with boll weevils.
    After the truth about Basanna Hunsole's field was discovered, Monsanto belatedly signed a statement in which they admitted their deception, and promised to behave themselves in the future. But when, a few weeks later, the government of Andhra Pradesh announced it was stopping all Monsanto trials in the state, it cited similar deceptions as the reasons for its decision.
    So, what's the future for Monsanto in India? I hope: None at all!
    Germany has banned Monsanto's maize.
    Germany become the sixth EU country to ban the cultivation of Monsanto’s genetically engineered (GE) maize. Now that Germany has taken a stand - will all the EU follow? Five other EU countries have made the move: France, Greece, Austria, Hungary and Luxembourg.
    Any government that seriously examines the risks associated with growing GM foods can only reach one rational conclusion: it must be stopped.
    I suggest we share a few GM meals with Monsanto executives, but not tell them...

  • Comment number 45.

    Global food crisis, lack of clean drinking water, energy crisis, destruction of natural environments, even traffic jams and man's effect, if any, on the climate are among the symptoms of over-population.

    The population of the word is doubling every 40 years. Trying to keep pace by producing more and more food and fuel is a short-term solution which will lead to an even greater crisis in the future.

    The only future which does not necessarily include famine, drought, disease and war for control of diminishing resources requires a global initiative on birth control. Unfortunately the chances of that happening are minimal.

    --------
    I would 100% guarantee that with a world population of around 7 billion now that this will not have risen to around 30 billion by the end of the century.

    A figure much in excess of double the current level is simply unsustainable by any foreseeable method.

  • Comment number 46.

    look at immigration around the world,
    selfish families that mass produce,
    do-gooders who want open door policies
    conculsion they are to blame
    each country should deal with their population

  • Comment number 47.

    Where there are shortages of basic food or other commodities, there will be 'spivs' as they were known during and YEARS after WWII in Britain.

    However, 'spivs' are no longer 'local', but for at least 60yrs have grown an established global market futures industry, albeit under many different guises?

    We, and our governments should not be surprised, but always be ready or on 'stand-by' in preparation by the certain unscrupulous elements of 'commodity markets' raising prices of basic needs when so many harvests of basic crops have been affected by so-called 'natural' fire disasters in Russia, for example?










  • Comment number 48.

    Seems pretty self-evident to me. When global overpopulation meets finite resources and inequitable profit-driven distribution of these resources, what else could possibly happen?

  • Comment number 49.

    No; Not as long as we keep giving as much (preferably more) attention and care to the food-farming sector (land & sea both) as the industrial one. The present food crises can be overcome or tidied over through global cooperation.

  • Comment number 50.

    I live in the US and rising food prices will have little effect on me. I am, however, concerned about the developing world and recently made a monetary contribution to an international food aid program. It's a small step, but at least I am doing something.

  • Comment number 51.

    Food and water security is the basis of social cohesion and democracy and must be an integral part of all human settled communities?

  • Comment number 52.

    Its an ATTROCITY that places like London stock exchange are MORE responsible for food problems than fires which have destroyed so much production.

    Whenever there is ANY issue, the stock exchange GAMBLERS buy up ALL they can afford, and also with VAST VAST funds they do NOT possess, and use their position to profiteer, quite often, resulting in major loss of life due to consequences of their manipulation of prices and control of produce.

    One VITAL point, I have made it consistently over the years on HYS when opportunity of subject arises.

    The EX-European food mountains, which so many were indoctrinated against resulting in ignorantly and STUPIDLY destroying them, were in FACT, beyond just pricing maintenance and were in FACT Europes INSURANCE policy against STARVATION if as and when the world or just Europe is inflicted with weather/environmental conditions which very SERIOUSLY damage food production, as has HAPPENED throughout the ages.

    Basically, with Russias fire problems and Chinas/Pakistans flood problems and other global food production problems, all we basically need is just a SEVERE and prolonged winter in Europe and North America then hundreds of MILLIONS of people in USA & Europe could be in the same boat/circumstance as Etheopia was a number of years ago.

    Yes the food mountains were expensive, but WHAT INSURANCE ISNT.

    If we still had the EU food mountains, prices WOULD FACTUALLY be MORE STABLE in Europe and we would be able to release amounts to maintain prices in 3rd world countrys and ENSURE that catastrophic starvation is NOT such an EASY reality of weather/environmental consequence.

    In FACT, the UN, with part of its MASSIVE funding, ALONG with HUGE increases in UK foreign aid could EVEN use part of it to PAY FOR EU food mountains and provide FURTHER INSURANCE of food availability to Africa & elsewhere around the world in times of NEED.

    The REALITY, is we are so OFTEN TOLD by MUPPET politicians that food production and so much else is under threat from global warming etc and changing weather systems.

    We are CONSTANTLY fed with reminders of experiencing more and more extreme weather systems.

    YET, world food resources DO NOT MEET the CONDITIONS or GROWING IMPORTANCE of SURVIVAL.

    The farmers in UK & EU, are ACTUALLY PAID TO NOT grow crops and produce food.

    Food is an ESSENTIAL of ALL LIFE. To play around and MANIOPULATE it JUST for COMMERCIAL purposes is as a dangerous and attrocious policy as some of the worst in history.

    ARE WE AN INTELIGENT SPECIES OR NOT.

    It seems NOT, because world food production is based PURELY upon PROFIT and NOT upon ENSURING the continued existance of our species.

    While I am seriously bothered about the PURE NEGLIGENCE of the UN, of the EU, of the UK, of the USA, etc etc etc regarding food reserves and production, I personally can and will survive due to the fact that I am NOT reliant on my attrocious neglectful government. I ALWAYS maintain a store of food and even water that can see me through for many many months. Its NOT hoarding, its COMMON SENSE, a common sense lesson passed to me from my parents/grandparent who came through WWII. I do NOT have to rush out to Tesco or wherever and fight over a tin of beans if such a situation arises. My family and I am INSURED against crop failure and food shortages, a GROWING reality, we are told of environmental/weather/climate change.

    I personally, am NOT STUPID enough to trust or rely upon this UK government or other international institutions to be COMPETANT and to look after my long term needs. Look at the economic/financial/social mess we are in now and further facing. NOT exactly evidence of COMPETANCE.

    They couldnt competantly plan a knees up at a brewery, let alone put the sustainable existance and interests of a nation FIRST and FOREMOST before greedy profiteering on ATTROCIOUS scale by those who deal in "futures" LOL, and sell ALL life down the river for a quick and EASY profit.

    Theres NOTHING wrong in making profit or money, but when it ESSENTIALLY and FUNDAMENTALLY puts a nation people or the worlds people at serious catastrophic risk then the value of ALL human life is essentially based upon the bank balances and bonuses of those who manipulate and profiteer from manipulating and HOARDING for profit, ship loads of food produce and other essentials of life, INCLUDING WATER, or as it is now known on stock exchanges " BLUE OIL"

    Ultimately, the food insurance reality is this.

    The Thames barrier is an insurance policy, would Londoners really do away with it because of attrocious political and media propaganda, ultimately and essentially with DIRECT interference of businesses whos SOLE interst was and is enabling the current profiteering situation.

    Why is Holland and other nations spending MULTIPLE £$BILLIONS on building barriers against rising seas and tidal threats.

    Because environmental/weather/climate systems are FACTUALLY CHANGING and they are insuring AGAINST catastrophic consequences and attempting to PREVENT disaster.

    JUST the HUGE GROWTH in rate of use of the Thames barrier is FACTUAL EVIDENCE of change.

    The sea, is the MAJOR part in weather/climate systems. Ignore the changes to the sea, at PERIL.

    YET, when it comes to DAILY NEED for survival, food, that which WAS our EUROPEAN INSURANCE against such disaster has just been simply ABANDONED.

    The Sun, The Daily Mail, in fact I do not know of a single UK media organisation which argued a case FOR retaining European food mountains.

    Over past few years, even in UK we have experienced lower level crop failures and damage which has effected and increased prices. Potatoes has generally been the item most effected by floods, too much rain, too cold, not enough rain, etc.

    The fact is, is that HISTORY provides ENOUGH evidence of area/continental or world crop failures and thats WITHOUT present climate change associated problems.

    Just imagine this present scenario as is happening in Egypt or African countrys wherby the MAIN supplier of essential grain food has NONE to provide you/us with, then imagine it on a much bigger scale, which is a historical and factual reality.

    OOOPS, dont PANIC!!!

    TOO LATE.

    Car insurance, house insurance, nasty nasty, expensive, something unexpected might happen, doh, better pay it never know,

    LIFE insurance, LOL, nasty expensive, LOL, might die one day doh, better pay it so dont get a paupers grave

    LIFE INSURANCE/ASSURANCE/FOOD ASSURANCE, nasty expensive, of course god & nature will protect food production for ever and ever, or those nice boys & girls at the stock exchange will ensure we will be ok, or pokliticians will make sure we have plenty of nosh, doh, we dont need food insurance, expensive food mountains, doh, wheres all the Dodos gone, doh.

    Are we heading towards a global food crisis? DOH, what food crisis, McDonalds is still open so what crisis!!! DOH

  • Comment number 53.

    If people are hungry/starving, there is just one simple solution, eat the politicians and then recycle them as fertiliser.

  • Comment number 54.

    11. At 12:03pm on 24 Sep 2010, Willo wrote:
    Global food crisis, lack of clean drinking water, energy crisis, destruction of natural environments, even traffic jams and man's effect, if any, on the climate are among the symptoms of over-population.

    The population of the word is doubling every 40 years. Trying to keep pace by producing more and more food and fuel is a short-term solution which will lead to an even greater crisis in the future.

    The only future which does not necessarily include famine, drought, disease and war for control of diminishing resources requires a global initiative on birth control. Unfortunately the chances of that happening are minimal.

    ==========================================

    Yep, especially in the good old US of A .

    Water is a problem of growing seriousness. As it happens, good old George Bushy and other members of his family, bought up IMPORTANT land with even MORE important water resources in Columbia, in which the USA army ALSO now has a BASE.

    There is also hidden agendas regarding the great lakes on the border with Canada. The USA has declining water resources and has plans to use the great lakes. Of course Canada will not argue with USA, especially as USA has also just built a new army base in the vincinity.

    To talk about a food crisis without the inclusion of water resources is like ignoring the existance of the Sun in our solar system.

  • Comment number 55.

    4. At 11:18am on 24 Sep 2010, Graphis wrote:
    Just make cannibalism legal. There, food shortages and population control solved, all in one!

    -----

    Sounds as if it is only the illegal status of the proposed activity that is stopping you from partaking in it.

  • Comment number 56.

    Post #01 ' 10:56am on 24 Sept - 'Icebloo'.

    I think you will find 'Icebloo', that your comments will mean nothing compared to the deeply corrupt; totally inept and disgraceful/disgusting Pakistan government with billions of aid pouring in yet allowing their own people to die on their watch .... there are no words offensive words strong enough to describe the Pakistan government that would pass the moderators?

  • Comment number 57.

    We have been, for some time, in a global food and water crisis. Next question?

  • Comment number 58.

    4. At 11:18am on 24 Sep 2010, Graphis wrote:

    Just make cannibalism legal. There, food shortages and population control solved, all in one!

    ============

    wow just wow..........

  • Comment number 59.

    What food crisis ?? anyone in the west goin hungry ?? Do not insult folks in the third world nations....

  • Comment number 60.

    A good scare story will guarentee that prices can be increased without too much objection. Why wasn't it reported at the same time that there was a bumper wheat harvest in US and Canada. Brazil had the second best harvest ever this year. Russia and Australia had bad years. Farming is like this up and down, it has always been the same. If we in the west cut down on our food waste and stopped importing unnecessary food and plants grown in the third world they could perhaps feed themselves.

  • Comment number 61.

    Perhaps. Don't know as I haven't seen the books to verify and can only go by reports and what I read on the news. Food regulation? Absolutely not and that would be so immoral & suicidal. Meanwhile the fact is some have surplus and are wasting food whilst others go without including children. There needs to be population control and care of the environment to prevent droughts, famine, floods that destroy crops etc.

  • Comment number 62.

    corum-populo-2010 #56.

    "..disgraceful/disgusting Pakistan government.."

    what are you on about?

    the government of Pakistan fits in very nicely with the other governments in this world, in fact, is is quite undistinguished. don't you just adore 'our' family of nations? ;)

  • Comment number 63.

    No. I am not concerned about future food prices. I am concerned about the world's unwillingness to see the cause of the problem, which is simply, too many human animals on the planet.
    The solution is to have a world wide mandate to reduce human population through promotion of having only 2 children and the first not until age 29. Immigration would not be permitted from a country who does not have a negative population growth.
    We can't be 'nice" to everyone. We can't all have what we want. But if we stick to this formula, future humans can have all they want and not endanger our planet or humans.

  • Comment number 64.

    32. At 1:17pm on 24 Sep 2010, Bob Ezergailis wrote:
    During the height of the recession, under the heading "Morpheal's Commentary" I wrote numerous articles, in Usenet, China Daily and other internet venues, stressing the importance of food production, using more modern means. During the Obama campaign I stressed the need for renewal and modernization in support of U.S. agriculture. During the recent Gulf oil spill I stressed the need to turn to aquaculture, fish farming, for food production. In every forum I have stressed the need for massive investment into food production as the way out of the recession, and as the long term plan for the preservation of world peace and for the betterment of the human condition worldwide. This has all fallen on deaf ears, and discarded in the manner reserved for ignorance, while the EU, China, the USA, and others have continued to voice support for other goods, while failing to support technical and scientific modernization of food production as the major issue. We must further consider that in the biotechnical era that we have entered, the biotechnical sword can be used to destroy a nation's food supply, as well as for massive improvement to capabilities for food production. So there is a strategic concern added to the human concern. One is driven to abandon any hope for even the sleightest common sense among leading economists, and the world's leading governments, and one must question their motives and sanity as events continue to unfold, taking this century deeper and deeper into peril of unprecedented world war and food driven conflict.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Isn't it a pi**er when the world won't do as it's told? Particularly when you are the only person who has all the answers. Boy, you are wasted on this ungrateful planet!

  • Comment number 65.


    It extremely popular nowadays in Left wing circles to dimiss the theories of Thomas Malthus but does this story not prove that (unpleasant as it may be some) he was abolutely right?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Robert_Malthus

    Isn't Thomas Malthus proved correct every time there is a famine in Africa?

    Does this not confirm exactly what he predicted when he pointed that when population exceeds food supply then people will starve to death so that there is a more stable equilibrium between population and food supply?

    It is such an obvious, self-evident stone-cold fact that it really shouldn't need pointing out but what always happens (as will happen here) is that people simply ignore it because they find it too frightening and prefer not to think on it at all as if that somehow makes the problem magically disappear.

    Well it won't and this is the bottom line - as much as the Catholic Church, Islam and other religions want their followers to go "forth and multiply", as much as some may want to over-populate an already over-congested, resource-drained planet with their unwanted babies, the end result will only be an increase in food prices due to ever increasing demand and people (mostly children) simply starving to death.

    On the bright side, the birth rate in educated countries always falls so the very best way to tackle this growing problem is through education and sex education in particular. We could and should encourage family planning, the use of birth control, morning after pills, abortions and so on until there is a stable, sustainable population that can be provided for.

    But for any of that to happen then the backward, outdated dogma of various religions will have to be confronted "head-on" by the nation states that are the most effected. Policies will have to be developed to take on the selfish crulety of those irresponsible "parents" who make a personal lifestyle decision to bring an actual human being into an existence of grinding poverty.

    In this context, China was very sensible to implement the One Child Policy as many statisticians have estimated that if they didn't do this then their population would be well over 2 Billion today - imagine the what the effect on food prices would be then and how many would subsequently starve to death. It is very easy for outsiders to criticise the Chinese but what realistic option, what choice did they ever have? How does anyone govern and provide for a billion people let alone 2 billion?

    If we in the West want to avoid going down this road then our politicians need to get to grip with the maths and argue for what is right and not what is popular. If they don't then nature will simply do it for them.

    You have been warned.

  • Comment number 66.

    38. At 1:30pm on 24 Sep 2010, Daisy Chained wrote:

    I mentioned this to David and his eyes lit up. He rushed to his folders marked 'allotments' and 'small scale agricultural profit making'.

    He thinks he is having a brain wave. I think he is overworking his brain cell again. I am really quite worried about him. Last time this happened he woke up in a sweat believing he was a junior partner to Hitler in the war.

    ---------------------------------------

    Better than waking up to find yourself in real wars like Iraq because Tony Blair and George had a vision. On their worst day the coalition could never be as bad as Labour.

  • Comment number 67.

    37. At 1:28pm on 24 Sep 2010, Shoogly Peg wrote:

    In our situation, the EU are much to blame for a price rise since they subject our food to such stringent regulations. That is, they require uniformity in food products, particularly raw products, which means nonetheless nutritional and edible food being rejected for human consumtpion for being "wonky".

    =======================================

    That is the common misunderstanding:

    EU rules define the characteristics for some products to be classed as class 1 , 2 etc. All are fit for human consumption and may be sold.

    Supermarkets choose to buy class 1 since when any research has ever been done the people (i.e. us who go to supermarkets) preferrentially select the nice looking fruit and veg and reject the perfectly edible wonky stuff leaving it to rot on the shelves even if that might actually taste better which is why certain varieties have disappeared or a selected over others for sale (e.g. some rather tasteless strawberries which are larger and redder displace others which have better flavour but look different). Naturally supermarkets don't see much point in buying stuff that customers won't buy or pay a premium for.

    It never has been illegal to sell fruit and veg that is not class 1 - excepting if you try to sell it as class 1.

    Also supermarkets prefer to stuff their shelves with higher margin perfect veg rather than give space to wonky veg at lower prices and margins. Only the recession and basic product trend has led to increased amounts of these products being available.
    The waste is caused directly by consumer behaviour which the Eu and supermarkets simply codify.

    You also find that wonky veg does not fit our industrialised production processes - wonky cucumbers won't go through the packaging equipment !

    The EU rules are simply there so that e.g. class 1 product bought from Spain is the same as Class 1 from the UK to facilitate a free market.

  • Comment number 68.

    60. At 2:25pm on 24 Sep 2010, Lucy Clake wrote:

    A good scare story will guarentee that prices can be increased without too much objection. Why wasn't it reported at the same time that there was a bumper wheat harvest in US and Canada. Brazil had the second best harvest ever this year. Russia and Australia had bad years. Farming is like this up and down, it has always been the same. If we in the west cut down on our food waste and stopped importing unnecessary food and plants grown in the third world they could perhaps feed themselves.

    =================

    To add to it it there's wheat rotting in indian depots cause it can't be distributed...comm'on BBC scare tactics now ???

  • Comment number 69.

    We are heading for
    (i) A food production location re-balancing
    (ii) A fod supply re-negotiation
    (iii) A food price increase
    .
    Inevitably, when Russian production is reduced and Russian grain cartel husbands stocks, the world must look to other suppliers.
    .
    The USA has recently sown crops of late-harvest grain to make-good the short-fall. Land which would, this year, be fallow for economic reasons is now under crop for one reason, and one reason only -
    to make an economic 'killing'. Please don't think that the American extra acreage is planted for altruistic reasons to aleviate world starvation.
    .
    This Russian stockpiling will make many mid-west Americans very rich for some time. The price negotiated by the US farmers will be a (possibly all-time) high, the negotiation off-sets for export to hungry lands will be higher than for many years, and the cost for purchase in the shops around the world will also be a possible all-time high.
    .
    As the mid-west farmers say "It's an ill wind that blows nobody any good".
    .

  • Comment number 70.

    Politics seems to be about power to control water, food, energy, shelter and pharmacy and little about people.

  • Comment number 71.

    We have repeated calls for money to fund starving people and clean water, yet never do any of Governments or the charities that call for our money ever accept that the way forward to sustainable food, protection of wild animals, protection of habitat is CONTRACAPTION and the control of the world’s population.
    Without the reduction of the human population we will just have endless cycles of poverty and hunger.

  • Comment number 72.

    60. At 2:25pm on 24 Sep 2010, Lucy Clake wrote:

    A good scare story will guarentee that prices can be increased without too much objection. Why wasn't it reported at the same time that there was a bumper wheat harvest in US and Canada.

    ---------------------------------------

    Good point. I saw an American farmer on the news telling everyone that what he thought he would be plowing back into the ground he would now be selling for a good profit.

  • Comment number 73.

    Speculators are to blame for inflating food prices

    HUNT THEM DOWN LIKE RATS. SPECULATORS ARE VERMIN. JAIL THEM FOR 40 YEARS MINIMUM.

    Want to stop world population pressure?

    USE THE FINANCIAL MARKETS TO REDUCE POVERTY

    HAMMER THE RICH, THEN HAMMER THEM AND AFTER THAN TAX THEM, AND FINALLY TAX THEM.


    BLAIR AND CAMERON HAVE BETWEEN THEM £70 MILLION. CREATE A SYSTEM WHEREBY IT IS ILLEGAL TO HAVE MORE THAN £5 MILLION BY ANY INDIVIDUAL.

    IMAGINE THEN WHAT COULD BE DONE TO ALLIEVIATE POVERTY AND HENCE REDUCE POPULATION BURDEN...THE RICH WEST IS CREATING THE PROBLEM.

    CREATE JOBS NOT BILLIONAIRES AND TRADE OURSELVES OUT OF POVERTY BUT CAPITALISM MUST BE MASSIVELY REGULATED AND CONTROLLED.

  • Comment number 74.

    Further to my comment 52. At 1:55pm on 24 Sep 2010,

    There are stocks of grain crop food in the world, but it is only about 28% of actual yearly world need. It is also essentially majority of it is maintained by USA which has an abundance of grain production whereas so many countrys like India/Pakistan/China/Egypt use up the vast majority of their own production each year so have little left to store, and also need imports.

    Europe, having done away with its food mountains is now heavily reliant on a "Maginot Line" policy of countering climate change and protecting food production/stocks etc.

    Namely, it has spent £billions upon £billions on sea defences in neglect of weather systems which just go hopity hopity hopity over the top and around the sides, and dump rain/snow/winds, heat on various places destroying crops and whatever.

    The USA has huge stocks of wheat etc, but why should USA give up a huge amount of that which it in turn may need for its OWN survival if/when afflicted with disasterous crop failure, which is a growing certainty and reality based upon world history and present climate change evidence/information.

    I bet my left collar bone, my right elbow and left little toe that USA will ultimately gain advantageous trade and access to resources as part of supplying much needed grain.

    As the saying goes, there is MORE than one way to skin a cat.

    The haves, can much better gain much advantage over the have nots. Hence Russia, will NOT put itself in a position of being a have not and end up asking USA for large amounts of wheat grain if it can prevent it, which it is currently preventing via banning exports and maintaining its own needs/requirements.

    World food production and supply/demand is no less a bubble waiting to burst as has financial and property bubbles previously, but with a food bubble, the consequences will be much much more severe.

  • Comment number 75.

    High food prices result due the “Environmental Distractions” resulting from the noted ‘activities’. We remain to subject to our environments to activities that we deem economical without realizing the impacts these activities impact towards destroying our environment.
    Today’s environmental policies by world governments have failed to cater for complete environmental protection; government policies remain to hinge on achieving economic goals forgetting that, there should exist a balance between maintaining or improving the environment while pursuing the very economic goals.
    The trend in development and economic policies today is centred at attaining high economic returns or profits and less on environmental uplift. The notable economic activities, such as, mining, manufacturing and notably, infrastructure development (attribute to world population outburst) have failed at planning better ways of conserving the environment while pursuing economic ventures.
    World bodies and governments must assert control measures in-place aimed at building a balance between activities and environment. If each world government ventured in an economic activity after assessing the impact yielded by the very activity towards the environment then the present food crisis would be of no discussion today. We must ascertain in uplifting the environment today by you and me, showing concern and being pro-active in safeguarding the environment now.
    Alexander Ndiku
    Civil Engineer
    Johannesburg, South Africa

  • Comment number 76.

    Rising population, rising temperatures, rising need for agricultural land for housing, rising terrorism, rising corruption, rising decay of infrastructure, rising drought in other places, rising rain in many places etc are causing food shortages. The biggest challenge in this world is to convince the poor to stop making more poor. As the economy is shrinking the people are holding tight to their religious thoughts, which convince people that more children is better. It is high time to send food aid that will reduce the sperm counts of men, this is the only way to tackle such levels of poverty, hunger, uselessness and shortages of food.

  • Comment number 77.

    In Bangladesh food prices are always spiraling.Price hike of foods hits the market every week.Baladesh Government has, however, assured that there is enough emergency food stock.Shortfall in grains production due to floods in China and Pakistan means reduction in the availability of food grains globally.Recent floods in Bangladesh will also cause loss of food production.Russian ban on food export has further hampered the reaching of food to the countries in short supply.India also does not usually export food these days.This has further shrunk the global food market.Food traders are waiting for profitering,and as such they won't hesitate to raise the food prices beyond the reach of the low-income people. Food market is virtually the freest, and it is always the suppliers' market.Hoarding and stock-piling by grain traders also adds to food crisis.To remove the problem, the Government is duty bound to maintain emergency food stocks.And there should be more regulation of food markets to ensure the availability of food at reasonable prices.
    WFP should come forward to forestall the global food crisis that looms large.

  • Comment number 78.

    "There would be less of a problem if so much food wasn't wasted in storage warehouses supermarkets and homes either left to go rotten or remaining unsold."
    As it happens my local Sainsbury store has just instigated a change in long standing policy (inherited from the Budgens that used to be there). Originally any unsold food was drastically reduced in price to ensure it was sold, now it is to be thrown away if it doesn't sell at a maximum 50% discount. This policy is responsible for (a) increased food waste at the store, (b) increased land fill, (c) decreased recycling, (d) increased cost to consumers. I can fully believe someone thinks that by refusing to sell it very cheaply the store forces me to buy at full price - but that back fires because I now (a) don't visit the store on the way back from the gym/squash/rugby so don't make impulse buys, (b) buy more produce from the local market where it is fresher, cheaper and less processed/tampered with/over packaged.

    A bit of an own goal, but it does handily illustrate that supermarkets are quite happy to waste food and packaging rather than sell it.

  • Comment number 79.

    Are we heading towards a global food crisis?

    Oh no, shock horror! Stop the world I want to get off. I just wish the media and politician's would stop all this scaremongering, it's doing my head in.

  • Comment number 80.

    73. At 2:55pm on 24 Sep 2010, Norman Brooke wrote:
    Speculators are to blame for inflating food prices

    HUNT THEM DOWN LIKE RATS. SPECULATORS ARE VERMIN. JAIL THEM FOR 40 YEARS MINIMUM.

    Want to stop world population pressure?

    USE THE FINANCIAL MARKETS TO REDUCE POVERTY

    HAMMER THE RICH, THEN HAMMER THEM AND AFTER THAN TAX THEM, AND FINALLY TAX THEM.


    BLAIR AND CAMERON HAVE BETWEEN THEM £70 MILLION. CREATE A SYSTEM WHEREBY IT IS ILLEGAL TO HAVE MORE THAN £5 MILLION BY ANY INDIVIDUAL.

    IMAGINE THEN WHAT COULD BE DONE TO ALLIEVIATE POVERTY AND HENCE REDUCE POPULATION BURDEN...THE RICH WEST IS CREATING THE PROBLEM.

    CREATE JOBS NOT BILLIONAIRES AND TRADE OURSELVES OUT OF POVERTY BUT CAPITALISM MUST BE MASSIVELY REGULATED AND CONTROLLED."


    Well Comerade,the rich will just leave the country and all we are left with is a third world country.

  • Comment number 81.

    The evidence of future food shortages has been there for many years,its just been ignored.Fact.We are overpopulated as a planet by over 4 billion.There are no Jesus Christs on this planet who can feed thousands on a few fish and some bread.We cant sort it out so mother nature certainly will.Its not down to greed,its down to whats happening in our enviroment.Get used to it as its only the beginning.We can illeviate a lot of the problem by governments ordering the opening up of unused land for home grown produce like it used to be.Millions of people want allotments but probably the big stores with so much power lobby against it.

  • Comment number 82.

    Of course we are headed to a global food crisis. Air water and food, the essentials for our species. Are under attack from those who have cornered those markets and are cynical enough to exploit those markets. Not withstanding the amount of agricultural lands lost to desertification. The unchecked global birthrate coupled with that, gives you .... crisis!

    Fifty years ago, people were warning of the situation but were dismissed as "cranks".

    It is going to continue until the people making those decisions change their ways. Which is about as likely as a camel passing through the eye of a needle.

  • Comment number 83.


    @Jpublic


    "The population explosion that had been assisted by Governments who think it is a good idea to give billions in foreign aid to assist survival rates in cultures where large families are the norm and then worlds problems are solved -"


    I agree with what you have written here and the rest of your comment.

    It is one of life's modern tragedies that those who claim to be motivated by "compassion" and a will to "help others" end up making the original problem far worse.

    In fact, by supplying Aid and saving people today we will only succeed in creating an inevitable, greater catastrophe tomorrow - those saved will have children and that means that even more people will starve to death as their population once again increases beyond the ability of those trying to provide food and resources.

    When the whole vicious cycle is viewed in this way, One simply has to ask "what exactly, is the lesser of 2 evils here?"

    I watched a documentary called Star Suckers which revealed that the original Live Aid succeeded in raising lots of money, however, when it came to distributing Aid in Ethopia, the Ethopian government was able to dictate to the charities and NGOs involved exactly where they wanted the aid to be deployed.

    This was because the Ethopian government wanted to forcibly relocate large numbers of their population and they ruthlessly exploited where the Aid was distributed to achieve this end. Of course, in an environment as hostile as Ethopias such "relocations" amounted to no more than genocide and this is exactly what happen.

    Médecins Sans Frontières estimated that far more people were killed in these forced relocations than were actually starving to death in the first place!

    Please remember all of this the next time that the BBC decide to make Bob and Bono into modern day saints and dedicate Licence Payers money in depicting them as such.

    Also remember all of this the next time there is a Comic relief or the coalition government insists that the Foreign Aid budget must be "ring fenced" and inform as many people as you possibly can about the actualities behind providing Aid.

    Our country can ill-afford the 3 Billion a year that is wasted in foreign aid and amounts to no more than Lord Bauer's entirely accurate obervation of "the poor people in rich countries giving money to the rich people in poor countries".

    If you want further information on foreign aid scams (there are many) and the increased politicisation of the charities and NGOs involved (to justify their own existence, of course) then read "War Games" a book by the Dutch journalist Linda Polman.



  • Comment number 84.

    Unless the food habits change there is just not enough food available for the ever increasing hungryn mouths of the planet earth.

  • Comment number 85.

    #66 Lord_Two_Jags_Of_Prescott

    “Better than waking up to find yourself in real wars like Iraq because Tony Blair and George had a vision. On their worst day the coalition could never be as bad as Labour.”

    Let me ask David? Yes, he confirms he supported the war in Iraq, and would have done so even for the “sexed up” forty five minutes WMD portfolio. He seems a little confused though. He has a good mate, Nick, who said the whole thing was a shambles, but has since forgotten everything, total amnesia. He is now going to have a lie down as that comment has really overtaxed him.

  • Comment number 86.

    It won't matter to the proletariat. We've been eating s*** for years.

  • Comment number 87.

    We should be concerned about this and eat and waste less food. In the event of shortages, it would be the poor countries that suffer the most that could even trigger mass migrations. The problem can be solved. Remember, when it was Southern Rhodesia, Zimbabwe was self sufficient and even exported food. The government (if you can call it that) of Robert Mugabe soon changed that! Science and technology, allied to good governance, can alleviate this problem, given a chance.

  • Comment number 88.


    @Norman Brooke


    Are you aware that writing in block capitals is the bonafide hallmark of a ranting moron?

    It is no more than the PC equivalent of writing in Green Ink and, therefore, it is extremely easy to dismiss all your aimless assertions on this basis alone.

    Now take off the Caps lock, abandon the baseless assetions and actually try arguing a case using evidence (links or citations) so your comments don't end up becoming a universal laughing stock unless, of course, that was your original intention.





  • Comment number 89.

    The powers that be need to push GM food on to the world along with control of drinking water and then they have total power soon Africa will be forced to grow this food it will not take away food problems but make it worse but the rich will have organic foods and food that they want and like the rest off us will be having bad food because that is all we can afford the UK brings in to much food from other countries and charges to much and the world that grows its own food what is good for them is not allowed so its not shortage of food but who has the say in what is allowed the big rich companies and science all to do with social control.

  • Comment number 90.

    #48 24 years and counting wrote:

    “When global overpopulation meets finite resources….”

    Is food a finite resource? Surely it is our pretentious palates that make it so.

    There is a whole industry of deep fried ants, toads, frogs, and whatever else little boys are made of to contemplate before we can ever say it’s finite. Mixed with a little chocolate what delicacies they are, and such pure protein too. Not to mention what we may find in deep water…. Oooooh.

    Come on it is just another story the BBC pinched from the tabloid brain cell botherers.

  • Comment number 91.

    There are all kinds of reasons why this is happening, but the bottom line is the growing number of mouths that have to be fed. It makes the whole system more sensative to shortages caused by the weather, poor storage, re-direction of production (bio-fuels) and speculation. As long as this subject remains taboo, these problems around food will become ever more frenquent and serious.

  • Comment number 92.

    More importantly I think countries should educate their population on birth control and responsible reproduction.

    What frightens me most is the uncontrolled and exponential growth of the global human population.

    Demand will surely outstrip supply unless human population grwoth is controlled and SOON!!!

  • Comment number 93.

    While the food shortage issue scares...

    We must not forget the EU and the UK are paying farmers not to grow or produce anything, vast chunks of good land are producing nothing.

    Are we mad or are we mad?

    We are also paying capitalist investors vast sums for not farming useless land (hills and mountains) that they lease for £5 per acre from land owners, the investors get up to £1000 an acre.

    No we are just stupid to allow this!

  • Comment number 94.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 95.

    4. At 11:18am on 24 Sep 2010, Graphis wrote:
    Just make cannibalism legal. There, food shortages and population control solved, all in one!


    Can you remember the German cannibal who ate that guy who volunteered through a website? It turned out that in Germany at least there was never a law prohibiting cannibalism and all they could do is prosecute for assisting a suicide.

  • Comment number 96.

    On one news channel we get reports of bumper crops in California
    On another droughts causing high food prices.

  • Comment number 97.

    No, we are not heading for a global food crisis; this is just another scam to raise prices!

  • Comment number 98.

    Just like the recent times increase in prices of fuel and gas and electric now we come to 'the end of cheap food' but really what we are seeing is market manipulation to suit the money makers..

    Well they cannot get a fair return on interest rates anymore and tax evasions are becoming fewer and the stock markets are not providing the big returns so what do you do ?

    I know lets invest in basic food stocks like grain and put the prices up we'll make a killing that way...

  • Comment number 99.

    37. At 1:28pm on 24 Sep 2010, Shoogly Peg wrote:

    In our situation, the EU are much to blame for a price rise since they subject our food to such stringent regulations. That is, they require uniformity in food products, particularly raw products, which means nonetheless nutritional and edible food being rejected for human consumtpion for being "wonky".


    Complete guff. The not-quite-perfect stuff goes off for processing. It doesn't matter what size or shape your tomato is if its being turned into a can of tomato soup. If you go to an Italian fruit stall (in Italy!) you can buy peaches the size of your head. The supermarkets might not want them but they're certainly not being pulped (Although any fruit and veg that is pulped is composted and goes back on the land so isn't being wasted either)

  • Comment number 100.

    Meh. Give it 10-15 years and we'll be fighting 20 foot scorpions for the last drops of water on the planet.

 

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