Researched by Leora Johnson and Natalie Dale
The world’s food system is in a structural meltdown as the direct result of three decades of neo-liberal globalization of the world food market. Speculation on the commodities market influences the price of grain just like it does the price of crude oil, the only difference being that people have to eat, whatever the cost. The world’s poorest countries have been forced to open their markets and lands to global agribusiness, speculators, and subsidized food exports from rich countries. Today, roughly 70% of all so-called “developing” countries are net importers of food. The price of wheat has gone up by 130% over the last year. Rice doubled in price in Asia in the first three months of 2008 alone. The UN World Food Program estimates that recent price hikes mean that an additional 100 million people can no longer afford to eat adequately.
“Making a Killing From Hunger” ,grain.org, 4/2008