Bad agricultural policies and changing eating habits in developing nations are primarily to blame for rising food prices, not biofuel production as some critics claim, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday...The reality is that most of the world's starving people are in Asia. Most of the world's largest consumers are in the West, from where corporations backed by military force are hoarding what remains of arable land in the poorest countries. The 'food rush' is exaccerbating an already precarious situation as cooling temperatures threaten shorter growing seasons.
But Merkel, whose country is Europe's largest biofuel producer, said the rise in food prices was not mainly due to biofuels but to "inadequate agricultural policies in developing countries" as well as "insufficient forecasts of changes in nutritional habits" in emerging markets.
"If you travel to India these days, then a main part of the debate is about the 'second meal'," Merkel said.
"People are eating twice a day, and if a third of one billion people in India do that, it adds up to 300 million people. That's a large part of the European Union," she said.
"And if they suddenly consume twice as much food as before and if 100 million Chinese start drinking milk too, then of course our milk quotas become skewed, and much else too," she said referring to EU limits on dairy production....