UN warns of looming food crisis

Officials meet in Rome to discuss emergency plans

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization is meeting in Rome today to discuss a major new food crisis caused by environmental disasters and market speculation. The meeting was called last month after a heat wave and wildfires in Russia led to an export ban on wheat, which sparked food riots in Mozambique. Aside from environmental disasters, food pries are also rising because of the pension and hedge funds, sovereign wealth funds, and large banks who speculate on commodity markets. Olivier De Schutter, the UN’s special rapporteur on food, blamed price and the volatility of food commodities on the emergence of a “speculative bubble,” which he traces back to the early 2000s. Food prices are currently on the rise in India and Nepal, as well as in Latin America and China. The emergency meeting in Rome is seen as a warning that there may be another food crisis looming.

The Guardian