UN Sec Gen calls for end to food tariffs and biofuel subsidies

Some common sense and plain speaking from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who has called for an end to food tariffs and to subsidies for biofuels as the key way to bring down the price of food and stop millions from starvation.

Sadly this advice will be ignored by the Greens and NZ First who both support protectionist policies such as tariffs.

Also interesting debate on how much biofuels are to blame:

Hunger campaigners single out biofuels – often made by converting food crops into fuel – as a prime culprit for the crisis.

Biofuel supporters say the effect on food prices of diverting crops into ethanol production is small.

US Agriculture Secretary Ed Shafer said before the summit began that biofuels accounted for about 3 per cent of the total food price rise.

But the Oxfam aid organisation says the real effect is about 30 per cent.

It is sort of ironic that us free traders are on the side of the UN and Oxfam while the Greens seem to be in the same camp as the US – supporting tariffs and biofuels.

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