Biofuels creating food crisis, group says

March 3, 2010 at 9:39 AM

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, March 3 (UPI) -- The use of biofuels caused a 30 percent increase in the price of food in 2008, an advocacy group said, blaming the European Union for contributing to a crisis.

EU members in 2009 agreed to look to biofuels to meet 10 percent of the transport fuel needs by 2020. ActionAid, an international non-governmental organization, said food supplies are compromised by the rising demand for biofuels, the United Nations' humanitarian news agency IRIN reports.

"Up to 100 million more people could go hungry if Europe commits itself to a huge increase in biofuels consumption in order to meet new European Union legislation," said a report by ActionAid.

"If all global biofuel targets are met, it is predicted that food prices could rise by up to an additional 76 percent by 2020," the report added.

European lawmakers in February cautioned that the use of biomass crops could lead to deforestation and cause increases in greenhouse gas production but said those matters were for international consideration.

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