Saturday, June 16, 2007

Biofuels could lead to mass hunger deaths: U.N. envoy

Jean Ziegler, U.N. special rapporteur on the right to food, accused the European Union (EU), Japan and the United States of "total hypocrisy" for promoting biofuels to cut their own dependency on imported oil.
"I can understand the Brazilian and Mexican policies which as very indebted countries want to earn hard currency....But from the point of view of the right to food, which must be the decisive one, it is a catastrophe," Ziegler said.

Ziegler called for Western countries to grant so-called "refugees from hunger" a temporary right of asylum. This would require amending a 1951 U.N. convention granting refugee status to people fleeing racial, political or religious persecution.

An estimated 2 million people try to enter the European Union (EU) illegally every year, and about 2,000 of them drown in the Mediterranean Sea, he said.

From: Reuters

To which the Renewable Fuels Association responded:

"Ethanol group blames oil prices for costly food"

From: Stuff.Co (NZ)