Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the president of Brazil, sharply criticized developed nations on Thursday for their role in bringing about the food crisis.
Speaking at the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, da Silva said expensive fertilizers, manufactured in wealthy countries, make farming expensive in the developing world.
But da Silva rejected the notion, recently supported by the UN, that biofuels are harming food production by occupying agricultural production that would otherwise be used for food. Brazil is the world’s largest exporter of sugar-based ethanol.
VOICEOVER: Addressing a regional meeting of the UN’s food and agricultural organization on Wednesday, Brazil’s president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, sharply criticized developed nations for their role in bringing about the food crisis.
LUIZ IGNÁCIO LULA DA SILVA, BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): Even when poor countries harvest their own products, they cannot pay for the fertilizers bought from multinationals, which are usually based in rich countries. We either speak frankly about the situation we are facing, or we continue creating these emergency policies like it did in Haiti, and sending a little bit of food every time a crisis erupts. We are only feeding the hunger of these people momentarily and awaiting another crisis.
VOICEOVER: But da Silva rejected criticism that biofuels are implicated in the current global food crisis. Brazil leads the world in the exporting of sugar-based ethanol for fuel.
DA SILVA: Biofuels are not the villains threatening the food security of poor nations. On the contrary, if they are developed in accordance with each country’s limitations and reality, they could be essential tools for economic growth and energy independence.
VOICEOVER: On Tuesday, a UN report called biofuels a “crime against humanity” for diverting food crops toward food production.
Please note that TRNN transcripts are typed from a recording of the program; The Real News Network cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.