The Specter of Hunger on the Horizon

Where is Harry Chapin when you need him? The popular folk singer (Cat’s in the Cradle), who lost his life in an auto crash 27 years ago, was an indefatigable force of nature against hunger — in this country and around the world.

To hear Harry speak out against the scourge of hunger in a world of plenty was to hear informed passion that was relentless whether on Capitol Hill, at poverty conferences or at his concerts.

Now the specter of world hunger is looming, with sharply rising basic food prices and unnecessary food shortages sparking food riots in places like Haiti and Egypt. Officials with the U.N.’s World Food Program (WFP) are alarmed. The WFP has put out an emergency appeal for more funds, saying another 100 million humans have been thrown into the desperate hunger pits.

Harry would have been all over the politicians in Congress and the White House who, with their bellies full, could not muster the empathy to do something.

Directly under Bush and the Congress is the authority to reduce the biggest single factor boosting food prices — reversing the tax-subsidized policy of growing ever more corn to turn into fuel at the expense of huge acreages that used to produce wheat, soy, rice and other edibles.

Corn ethanol is a multifaceted monstrosity—radiating damage in all directions of the compass. Reducing acreage for edible crops has sparked a surge in the price of bread and other foodstuffs. Congress and Bush continue to mandate larger amounts of subsidized corn ethanol.

Republican Representative Robert W. Goodlatte says: “The mandate basically says [corn] ethanol comes ahead of food on your table, comes ahead of feed for livestock, comes ahead of grains available for export.”

Corn growing farmers are happy with a bushel coming in at $5 to $6 — a record.

A subsidy-laden, once-every-five-years farm bill is winding its way through Congress. The bill keeps the “good-to-fuel” mandates that are expanding corn acreage and contributing to a rise of global food prices.

Of course, more meat diets in China, futures market speculation, higher prices for oil and some bad weather and poor food reserve planning have also contributed to shortages and higher prices.

But subsidized corn ethanol gets the first prize for policy madness. It not only damages the environment, soaks up the water from mid-west aquifers, scuttles set asides for soil conservation, but its net energy equation qualifies for collective insanity on Capitol Hill. To produce a gallon of ethanol from corn requires almost as much energy (mostly coal burning) as it produces.
Designed to alleviate oil imports, hold down gasoline prices and diminish greenhouse gases, corn ethanol has flopped on all three scores.

Princeton scholar Lester Brown, an early sounder of the alarm of global food shortages and higher prices, writes in Science Magazine “that the net impact of the food-to-fuel push will be an increase in global carbon emissions — and thus a catalyst for climate change.”

Can Congress change course and drop its farm subsidy of corn ethanol this year? Observers say, despite the growing calamities and the real risk of severe malnutrition, even starvation in Africa, Congress will do nothing.

Farm subsidies, once installed, are carved in stone—unless there is enough outcry from food consumers, taxpayers and environmentalists. They are paying from the pocketbook, from their taxes and health. That should be enough motivation, unless they need to see the distended stomachs of African and Asian children on the forthcoming television news.

Unless we wake up, we will continue to be a country stuck in traffic — in more ways than one.

Don’t rely on the election year political debates to pay attention to destructive corn ethanol programs. For years I have been speaking out against this boondoggle, while championing the small farmer in America, but no one in positions of Congressional leadership has been listening.

They must be waiting for the situation to get worse before they absorb a fraction of Harry Chapin’s empathy and care.

Ralph Nader is a leading consumer advocate, the author of The Seventeen Traditions, among many other books, and a four-time candidate for US President. Read other articles by Ralph, or visit Ralph's website.

27 comments on this article so far ...

Comments RSS feed

  1. evie said on April 26th, 2008 at 7:08am #

    All congressional bills that would increase biofuels also cap the amount of corn-derived ethanol. Biofuels will not play a primary role in reducing dependence on oil, but a contributing role. After 2012, all additional ethanol capacity must be based on noncorn crops.

    Brazil has done well with biofuel from sugar cane, producing enough to replace 460 million barrels of oil. Cargill Inc. is refining Brazilian ethanol in El Salvador and exporting it to the United States duty-free under provisions of the Caribbean Basin Initiative.

    The West has been critical of Brazil’s biofuel program. An article in this month’s Guardian stated Brazil’s production of biofuels has forced a surge in global food prices and harms the environment, and Jean Ziegler, the UN’s special rapporteur for the right to food, said biofuels were a “crime against humanity”.

    Lula da Silva responded with : “Don’t tell me, for the love of God, that food is expensive because of biodiesel. Food is expensive because the world wasn’t prepared to see millions of Chinese, Indians, Africans, Brazilians and Latin Americans eat. We want to discuss this not with passion but rationality and not from the European point of view.”

    I would like clarity on your definition of “the small farmer” b/c as a resident in farm country, USA – even the smallest family farmer here is incorporated, has received millions in government subsidies over the years, and pays migrant laborers less than a living wage to work 12-15 hour days.

  2. evie said on April 26th, 2008 at 7:11am #

    That’s replacing 460 barrels of oil for 1 year.

  3. evie said on April 26th, 2008 at 7:12am #

    Let me try again – Brazil replacing 460 million barrels of oil per year – with biofuel.

  4. Michael Kenny said on April 26th, 2008 at 7:27am #

    Nobody has ever explained to me why producing biofuels in countries that already produce enough food to feed their populations causes a problem. Trying to keep poor countries dependent on imports is really just a form of neo-colonialism. What is required is to reach a situation in which those countries can feed themselves, not prop up the very economic order that has landed them in the present mess in the first place!

    Here in Europe, for example, huge amounts of land were taken out of agricultural production because of food surpluses and there are certainly no food shortages here. What would be the problem if the land was used to produce biofuels?

    Of course, there might be a problem for those US interests which want to keep the world dependent on Middle East oil so as to have a pretext for military intervention in the region and so as to justify having an “ally” there. The same people who get so worked up about Hugo Chavez (or, for that matter, Vladimir Putin!). That’s an odd cause for Mr Nader to be defending!

    Also, it’s easy

  5. Jenny C. said on April 26th, 2008 at 8:38am #

    Michael Kenny,
    For alternative energy, Nader is a strong supporter of solar energy and energy efficiency, not oil dependency. He is against the Iraq war and occupation, calling for an immediate military and corporate withdrawal. So, no…Nader is not surreptitiously attacking ethanol to boost big oil interests. The insinuation you have made is not only false, but disingenuous.

    As for the efficacy of biodiesel, please read the article:
    “But subsidized corn ethanol gets the first prize for policy madness. It not only damages the environment, soaks up the water from mid-west aquifers, scuttles set asides for soil conservation, but its net energy equation qualifies for collective insanity on Capitol Hill. To produce a gallon of ethanol from corn requires almost as much energy (mostly coal burning) as it produces.”

  6. Don Hawkins said on April 26th, 2008 at 9:41am #

    Bio-fuel is not the answer as we can all see so what is? Very very hard choices. The CO 2 already in the atmosphere tuff times ahead. Millions of people will not make it. Can we stop today, no. Are we slowing the amount of CO 2 going into the atmosphere, no. 1000 new automobiles a day China and coal fired power plants about one a week. Europe is going to coal in some countries from oil. In the United States about 100 coal plants on the drawing board. You are already seeing in this country after these prices for food and fuel we need to drill for oil. I think that was the plan all along with corn ethanol. They knew all along what would happen. Who are they little men with big bank accounts. What is the answer? An Apollo project but multiply the last Apollo project by 5 times and we are getting the idea. Fossil fuels as much as possible need to be where they are right now in the ground and kept there. Just in the United States mass transit using electricity. Where does the juice come from solar thermal technologies put in Nevada, California, Arizona and wind power and geothermal. Will it work yes but it takes hard choices and new power lines low loss power lines and to change the way we do it now. That is the hard part for say Exxon and coal and gas. Cars in the United States well fuel cells and electric oil could still be used for big machines for farming. On going talks with China and India to get them on board working together for the same reason to save are you know what. In just a few years things are going to get tuff because of climate change so we will be working in that environment nobody said this would be easy. We slow the things down we can until we can get this right another one of those hard choices. This summer and next watch the data the word from the Greenland ice sheets and drought reports and flooding and temperatures Worldwide then what I just wrote probably will not seem farfetched. What is farfetched is what they tell you to believe. Again who is they the people who tell you in those low voiced commercials they are your friends and remember don’t forget to put the check in the mail and fill-up because we are in control of your TV set.
    “There is nothing wrong with your television. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are now in control of the transmission. We control the horizontal and the vertical. We can deluge you with a thousands channels, or expand one single image to crystal clarity and beyond. We can shape your vision to anything our imagination can conceive. We will control all that you see and hear,” We will control all that you see and hear,” We will control all that you see and hear,” We will control all that you see and hear,” We will control all that you see and hear.”

  7. bozhidar balkas said on April 26th, 2008 at 12:39pm #

    since the planet is getting daily poorer and super and very rich people fear losing or not maintaining/icreasing their lucre, they are united like never before to secure the planet for themselves.
    that means all socialisms will be eradicated; russia and china may also bite the dust or cry “uncle”.
    as the earth warms, siberia looks mighty good to the olligarchy. siberia just might warm up enough that one could swim, play golf year-round, while some people may remain in hot areas where even a tomato might evaporate in minutes.
    america is no more. nationalism is dying. in some countries at a quicker pace than in some others.
    in canada and US it may end in just a decade or so.
    and if canadian and american mercnairies don’t want to fight for the plutocrats, they can hire other nationalities and pay them much less.
    if we would passively resist these probable plans, we might get somewhere.
    in US, violence wouldn’t work, i believe. its ruling class controls cia, fbi, police, media, schooling; the 5 houses: WH, house of senators, house of reps, house of money, and the house of horrors( much of planet)
    however, my wife goes ballistic when i suggest no more hollidays; no tv, radio, ‘newspapers”, etc.
    she thinks i’m crazy. recently she asked me what is Rome? i said to her that Rome was the only city in the world that had freesex and freeheaalth care.
    till fascists took it over and abolished free sex and free health care.
    now, seriously, when europeans came to redland they had free sexcare [there was so many maidens] but no medicare.
    in canada, priests had free sexcare long before we got our beloved medicare. thank u

  8. Max Shields said on April 26th, 2008 at 4:54pm #

    To understand the use of farm land as a means of extracting fuel for energy, you need to consider the argibusinesses that run this whole system. We live in a monocultural food producing world. As Michael Kenny alluded to the fundamental problem is how we have tracked from horticultural farming that would provide local food in sufficient abundance to one of monoculture whereby single crops are grown in huge quantities and turned into food like substances, mostly with the use of artificial nitrate fertilizers (oil based). So, even the ethanol requires fossil as well as most of the food Americans consume.

    Nevertheless, the monoculture food system rules and as such has set up a harsh dependency. A return to local farming (ala Cuba) with extensive crop diversification and non-fossil based fertilizers utilizing 21st century understanding of ancient farming techniques is the corrective action.

    Our consumption simply must be curbed if we are to begin to deal with the energy crises. We cannot continue on a course of uneconomic growth and expect that we will not bump into one explosive catastrophe after another. The ecosystem is finite and we’d better get use to that irrefutable fact.

    Of course, Nader is clear on the issue as has been the work of Lester Brown on this score. Ethanol would require the use of almost all the farmland in heartland to produce a pitance of USA demands for energy. Zero waste, and as many renewable sources as possible is the answer.

    Drinkable water is the next big bang…

  9. Don Hawkins said on April 27th, 2008 at 7:25am #

    In the arid northern and northwestern reaches of the country, China must cope with the expansion of its deserts. Desertification and sandstorms cause billions of dollars in damages each year and affect millions of people, as fertile grasslands the size of Israel turn barren every year. Although unsustainable agricultural practices of the 20th century are partially to blame, scientists also see climate change as a major cause of droughts that propel desertification in the north.

    According to the environmental think tank China Dialogue, warming also caused certain Himalayan glaciers to shrink by one hundred meters between 1986 and 1998. These glaciers are important sources for the huge rivers that run across China and supply the country’s densely populated coastal plains with water. About 60 percent of China’s 669 major cities face water scarcity, and of these, 110 face serious water shortages.

    Further decreases in rainfall will heighten the pressure on China’s large rivers, already under environmental stress from giant dams, irrigation projects, and overall pollution. According to a WWF study, pollution in the main stem of the Yangtze River has increased by more than 70 percent over the last 50 years. Almost half of the country’s industrial waste and sewage is now discharged into the river.

    Climate change and pollution could have adverse affects on agriculture all over the country. The Chinese government said in January 2007 that the nation’s production of staples such as corn, rice and wheat could drop by as much as 37 percent over the next 50 years as a result of climate change.

    Yes Max water is a big problem. On this present course a 37 percent drop in crops in China in 50 years is not exactly the way this will play out. In the States on this present course in 50 years well playing the back 9 will be only a memory. Just another one degree rise in temperature and haywire is a good word and how long before that happens? This summer and next will give us a better idea. And remember coal is your friend and driving cars that still get 29 mpg is Ok it’s the American way and please don’t try and adjust your set leave that to the experts who know how this all works.

  10. evie said on April 27th, 2008 at 8:04am #

    I agree there is too much unnecessary pollution in the world and needless consumption.

    But global warming/climate change is just another lucrative industry with which to scare the pissant peasants, and an excuse for the ruling powers when the peasantry of the West is forced to give up even more of their “way of life.” Joe Schmuck must sacrifice to save the planet – mother nature cannot save herself. Give up those Bigmacs. Put down that plastic. Dismantle that SUV. Stop farting. The sky is falling and the ice is melting.

    Cartoon characters. Here they come to save the day. Mr. Trouble never hangs around, When he hears this Mighty sound, “Here I come to save the day!” That means that Mighty Whitey is on the way!

    As the saviors of the environment leave their plush gated communities and jet off to another summit to collect obscene speaking fees they will ever so slightly shake their heads and opine “we have only ourselves to blame. Ta-ta.”

  11. Max Shields said on April 27th, 2008 at 9:35am #

    evie hypocracy and cynicism are our two headed enemies.

    I’d suggest you take a look at what African-Americans who have gotten beyond “it’s all about a Whitey conspiracy” have accomplished transforming the landscape with viable and sustainable workers’ cooperatives tied to the community, local and urban farming, economies of scope manufacturing and much more.

    It sounds like you’re not really serious about this so I’ll bid you adieu.

  12. evie said on April 27th, 2008 at 10:23am #

    Save the earth is not just a “white conspiracy” although whites initiate the “save whatever” but it is an equal opportunity snake oil convention.

    Co-ops are fine. Can you tell me where the bigger co-ops are located here in the States. In fact, we have an underground black economy in my town – swap, trade, barter goods and services – we always have. Most of it honest but the local police sometimes try to say it’s “receiving stolen goods.”

    “… gotten beyond …” No comment on that phrase.

  13. zhann said on April 27th, 2008 at 12:18pm #

    Growing Bio-Fuels is definately a problem in Eastern Europe as well. I see before my eyes thousands of acres of farmland that just last year were growing wheat, now growing bio-fuels. However, we need to look ahead, we can’t just fix the problem Today and hope that it will go away in the future. One of the biggest problems that we are facing is a global population that is growing steady at 2%/year … doubling every 40 years. This is staggering, and hasn’t shown any decline for the past 100 years. We can remove bio-fuels and start planting more edible foods, but this will only help us for another 30 to 40 years at most. We need to reconsider our method of food production and food distribution or this problem will get much worse.

    First, we must find a better way to grow products. This includes not only improving on the fields already in place, but finding new places to plant crops and better methods of doing so efficiently. Next, we need a more efficient means to distribute what is grown on a global level. This may seem socialistic, but without a global plan one crop will be in abundance while others will be in short supply. Lastly, profit needs to take into account peoples ability to pay. Of course, no farmer wants to work for free, but their should be some subsidy for the farmers when supplies are limited. More importantly, those that middle-man the product from the farmer to the public can be shortchanged, improving the life of the one doing the work, and the ones that need the product. This can only be done by serious government intervention, which again is socialistic and goes against a free economy.

  14. Max Shields said on April 27th, 2008 at 12:45pm #

    evie on the economy side. There are over 500 food cooperatives nation wide and numerous other cooperatives around credit unions as as as workers and producer cooperatives. This is a growing movement in the States. I think of the People’s Grocery workers’ cooperative in Oakland, CA. Check it out. New Haven, CT has a workers’ coop started and sutained by minorities, primarily poor and formerly homeless. It’s a clothing specialty shop. Unique in the technologies used and THEY OWN IT!! That is not unique though not as much of it exists and we need.

    As to the “underground” economy, some have referred to it as the core economy. The non-monetary economic activity has been estimated at nearly a trillion dollars. If this is tapped in a conscious way it can build strong communities as well as a basis for an alternative to the deeply predatory and problematic corporate capitalism. Local currency and time banking are two formalized approaches. There are great initiatiaves going on around tying community building on the basis of assets rather than needs. Check out ABCD Institute.

    zhann Good points, but you mustn’t live in the USA. You don’t want the US government to intervene. Trust me they’ve already done that which is much of the reason why we have these problems.

    Nature abhors monopolies. Distributed local farms is where we need to be headed. Call it socialism if you like. Cuba has done it and so haven’t a number of Latin America socialist governments. But this is a very qualified “socialism”. It is not the state run socialism of our youth or fathers and grandfathers.

  15. Max Shields said on April 27th, 2008 at 2:10pm #

    zhann as far as the “new ways” to farm, there are indigenous people the world over who have perfected such means of growing crops. The Indian farmers over thousands of years have perfected not only crop rotation, but the creation of natural pestiticides and thousands of seed varieties. If left to support their local communities much of what we see today, the global house of cards that produces world wide food shortages, would be avoided.

    But the idea is not to control nature. In nature there is a dynamic stability at work which avoids collapse through patterns of correction. Nevertheless collapse does happen. Drought and famine will not be utterly irradicated, but we can reduce their occurance and the impact on world population.

    Cuba did not give up its mega industrialized farms until faced with collapse. Cuban universities had been calling for smaller biodiversified farms, but to no avail until, the Soviet Union collapsed causing massive Cuban hunger. It is only because Cuba had an alternative “on the shelf” so to speak that they were able to not only recover but thrive. There is a lesson is we chose to heed it.

  16. evie said on April 27th, 2008 at 5:24pm #

    I remember years ago credit unions were much more numerous. Now not so many and of course generally limited to specific groups, e.g. our local school district has a teachers credit union.

    Co-ops also have their limitations, one being that often depend on government or corporate sponsorship which in the end can do away and/or control the results. It many ways it’s simply reverting to tribes which historically may fight one another.

    Still – I do not believe the apocalyptic visions predicted by some in regard to food shortages and planetary doom. It is fears of such, manipulated and exploited by a few, for profit, i.e. Al Gore.

    Cuba “thrives” for only a very small part of the Cuban population. Have you been there and have you been outside the typical spots for visitors?

    I grew up on a small farm – my dad also had “perfected” crop rotation, natural fertilizer, and using nature to curb crop pests. But unless millions and millions return to farming small farms, it would be impossible to feed the numbers we do today – wish we would as food was tastier and healthier under those conditions. I still garden about 1/2 acre on our property and my grandchildren sell the produce from a neighborhood stand – the money is theirs to keep as I work their butts off from April to September in the garden. We use a compost and no pesticides.

    It is not capitalism that bothers me but the corruption of capital. Any and every “ism” if unchecked will become corrupted and abusive.

  17. Max Shields said on April 27th, 2008 at 6:24pm #

    Good for you.

  18. hp said on April 27th, 2008 at 8:01pm #

    There’s always a little something special about people who have milked cows.

  19. zhann said on April 28th, 2008 at 1:15am #

    Max, I may have misstated my intentions a little. When I said “New Ways” of farming, I was more implying that we need more efficient farming methods in some areas, not necessarily everywhere. I am worried about the rising population levels world wide, and with our current farming methods many places are dependant on the natural environment … rain, for example. While some have developed methods to irrigate the land better in cases of drought, not all have, and more may need to be done in order to sustain such a booming population. Green Houses are very effective in Eastern Europe, and surprisingly provide very cheap, very tasty vegetables.

    The concept that each nation should support itself is good, and should be expanded as far as possible, but it is important to realize that not all nations are capable of such things. We must not alienate a state simply because it isn’t feeding itself properly. Of course, one nation shouldn’t feed another nation while people in the home nation starve, but if there is a surplus, it needs to be shared.

    Evie, I don’t mean to sound apocalyptical, but I strongly believe this food crisis is only the beginning. We aren’t at a critical point at the moment, but it seems that in our lifetimes we will see a global crisis. You must understand that the problem isn’t in our farming, but more with the fact that populations are rising exponentially. If this is calmed, farming will simply be unable to keep up soon.

  20. evie said on April 28th, 2008 at 4:46am #

    zhann
    When populations feel their existence is threatened, whether real or artificial, they wage war. War reduces the population. Although there are 6 billion of us – only a small portion use most of the earth’s resources – those are the numbers reduced.

    There has always been famine, plagues, war over resources – “crisis.” Usually every generation has one, usually designed by kings, shamans, prophets, chiefs, the gods, etc.

    Nature will also take care of overpopulation. People are forced to adapt. Western man, in all his self-glory and technology can only tweak his environment to a certain point.

    In all crisis there are those who step forward with explanations and “solutions,” for sale of course. Regardless how many want to believe the world is more “civilized” today, it still comes down to survival of the fittest.

    Amazing are those who tout the loudest about “saving the environment” yet understand so little about nature.

  21. Max Shields said on April 28th, 2008 at 6:05am #

    zhann, population has been blamed for much. There are many cases however where, when you look at the problem of hunger, food is in fact aplenty and that the population is relatively small. And than there are cases where food is not as plenty (per capita) and yet these people are not going hungry. Go figure. I’d suggest an interesting study by Frances Moore Lappe, Joseph Collins, and Peter Rosset called the 12 Myths of Hunger.

    I don’t agree that centralization of farming is the best way to feed people. I also don’t think that shipping food to people is the way to reduce or eliminate hunger. The reason, in part, why food can be aplenty and yet there is substantial hunger, is that the food is monoculture grown in a location and shipped out to be part of the global consumer market. This is one reason thus reducing the opportunity for local food variety. On the other hand, there are people, “poor” people who are extremely healthy and eat far better (based on their resistance to diseases) than Americans (particularly poor and minority Amerians).

    That does not mean that there has not and will not continue to be famine and droughts. Conflict and wars are fought over these things in a pretty consistent way (religion and ideology being the phony pretext).

    Farming methods have been honed, and there we know of ways within the parameters of nature to create crops which may not otherwise be indigenous to a region, thus offering wider varieties locally.

  22. Max Shields said on April 28th, 2008 at 6:12am #

    Just one more item (for now). What I’m suggesting is that we mimic nature. As I said above, nature abhors monopolies. Everything that exists within the natural order does so not be deviating from it, but by adhering to fundamental priniciples such as decentralization. The human body follows this same principle as it has evolved over the millenium. And so have all living things.

    There is, also, as I mentioned, a powerful dynamic/stability dance that sustains life which is at once fragile and resilient.

  23. Lloyd Rowsey said on April 28th, 2008 at 7:06am #

    As of now, if you use the Dissident Voice SearchBox (above) and enter “Max Shields” — there are 29 results. And if you enter “Ralph Nader” (above), there are 86 results. The overwhelming majority of which, at least, are the names of articles NOT followed by a single post by world-renown Ralph Nader.

    Get your valuable info where you find it, folks.

    And NB. Max answers.

  24. Max Shields said on April 28th, 2008 at 12:07pm #

    Lloyd, excuse me for a moment. May I ask what you’re point is? I mean no harm, just a simple question about your research. I hope yours is not the usual red herring that takes us afield rather than sticking to the subject.

    Thanks
    Max (:

  25. Lloyd Rowsey said on April 28th, 2008 at 1:02pm #

    You must have not read my post of a few days back thanking you because your temperate and knowledgable writings always “cool my fevered brow.” And I’ve noticed since that you DO get emotional sometime, which I of all people have no basis to criticize, and which I think is a further recommendation for reading your posts.

    Hey, I enjoy your posts, Max. And you reply to other posters who challenge or compliment you. (Most of DV’s article writers — not just the politicians like Nader — simply do not respond to us posters. Perhaps you’ve noticed. )

    By the bye, I don’t do “research,” Max. I read a lot for fifty years and: (1) I discovered that the last 35 years was simply confirming what I’d learned over the first 15 years. And, (2) in this country, one has to imagine the truth — “research” just pushes back the starting point a little.

  26. Max Shields said on April 28th, 2008 at 1:15pm #

    Thanks, Lloyd for the clarification. I do recall your kind words and appreciated them and now.

    Max

  27. Mike McNiven said on April 29th, 2008 at 10:56am #

    There must be an immediate international ban on the use of edible items as fuel! No matter what unqualified Al Gore is saying on this subject! Abusing the very limited soil and water available for food production, in the name of bio-fuel production, is a crime against humanity!