Food Crisis Blame Game: Plenty to Go Around

As the world slips into a food crisis of epic proportions, analysts, politicians, producers, investors, purveyors, scientists, economists and pundits are weighing in with opinions on causes. Faced with the morbid spectacle of millions upon millions of deaths by starvation, many special interest sectors are eager to point the finger of blame. Those fingers are generally not pointed back at themselves.

Who are the blameholders? It depends on who is doing the blaming.

George Bush threw an additional $770 million at the problem just last week. In doing so, he pointed the finger of blame squarely at India’s rising middle class and their newfound ability to add a bit of meat to their still largely vegetarian diet. As one might expect, Bush’s finger-pointing isn’t going down too well in India.

The Indian press is pointing the finger of blame right back at the US and its push for biofuels. Indeed, 30% of the 2008 US corn crop is destined for ethanol production. Government-mandated ethanol content in auto fuel has, unarguably, been one factor in the rise of global grain prices.
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