Zoellick called it a “perfect storm of things coming together…” and listed 7 different issues contributing to the increasing cost of food, which led to rioting in Haiti and Egypt last week, along with a general strike in Burkina Faso:
Zoellick underscored that none of these issues was solely responsible for increasing food prices, but NPR’s host Steve Inskeep pressed Zoellick on how much biofuels were contributing.
He noted that a recent report released by the World Bank seemed to indicate that biofuels were the primary issue, but Zoellick maintained that it wasn’t that simple. Rather, the “combinations of events have led to an emergency situation.” But he also said:
“Biofuels is [sic] no doubt a significant contributor. It is clearly the case that programs in Europe and the United States that have increased biofuel production have contributed to the added demand for food.”
Listen to the Morning Addition radio broadcast (only 5 minutes): World Bank Chief: Biofuels Boosting Food Prices, or see last week’s post, Biodiesel Myth (Or Fact?) #23: Biodiesel is Raising Food Prices.