Friday, October 26, 2007

"U.N. food expert seeks moratorium on biofuels"

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food called on Friday for a five-year moratorium on biofuels, saying it was a "crime against humanity" to convert food crops to fuel.

Biofuels are driving up food prices at a time when there are 854 million hungry people in the world and every five seconds a child under 10 dies from hunger or disease related to malnutrition, Jean Ziegler said.

Fears over climate change have boosted the demand for alternative fuels, but the rise of biofuel has been criticized by some who say it squeezes land needed for food.

Ziegler said cereals prices had already soared, putting pressure on African states that have to import food.

"It's a crime against humanity to convert agriculturally productive soil into soil which is producing food stuff which will be burned into biofuel," he told a news conference...

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