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The Hunger Grains: Oxfam says Biofuels Push Is Fueling Food Crisis

Common Dreams staff

Jatropha is harvested in Taabo, Ivory Coast. European demand for biofuels is pressurising global land and water resources. (Photograph: Kambou Sia/AFP)

As part of its ongoing GROW campaign to fight the global food crisis, Oxfam warns that Europe’s growing appetite for biofuels is pushing up global food prices and driving people off their land, resulting in deeper hunger and malnutrition in poor countries.

The report, The Hunger Grains, warns that current policies are depriving millions of people of food, land and water and—especially as the global food system faces the challenges of climate change and increased weather events—if the policies are not changed, continued death and instability will be certain.

“Europe has helped spark a global rush for biofuels that is forcing poor families from their homes, while big business piles up the profits. Biofuels were meant to make transport greener, but European governments are pouring consumers' money down the drain, whilst depriving millions of people of food, land and water,” said Natalia Alonso, Head of Oxfam’s EU Office.

“The current spike in global food prices is a loud alarm bell that should wake up EU Energy Ministers meeting today. It’s this simple: unless EU governments scrap their biofuel mandates, which will double biofuel consumption over the next few years, many more people will be plunged into poverty,” added Alonso.

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