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Page added on April 30, 2008

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Scientists call for halt in grain-based biofuel production

Some scientists are calling for a moratorium on using grain-based feedstock to produce biofuel to halt the rise in global food prices. Joachim von Braun, head of the International Food Policy Research Institute, told local journalists after a teleconference that if a biofuel moratorium is issued this year, it would lead to a price decline in corn by about 20 percent and wheat by about 10 percent from 2009 to 2010.


In his published paper, Rising Food Prices: What Should be Done?, von Braun blames the rising food prices on a combination of factors, including high oil prices, growing population, change in world population dietary habits and unfavourable climate change. A copy of the paper can be found on the International Food Policy Research Institute Web site.

Rattan Lal, an Ohio State University soil sciences professor, supported von Braun’s call for grain-based biofuel moratorium. “We need to feed the stomach before we need to feed our cars,” Lal said in an interview with the Associated Press. “We have one billion people who are food insecure. We can’t afford the luxury of not taking care of them and taking care of gasoline.”


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