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Bio Fuels or Bio-Fools?
In the United States, corn is widely sought as an alternative to oil. Photo by tlindenbaum from Flickr.

In the United States, corn is widely sought as an alternative to oil. Photo by tlindenbaum from Flickr.

The agrarian arms race to turn larger swaths of farmland over for the production of biofuels recently reached rhetorical heights as Jean Ziegler, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, argued that it would be a crime against humanity to use productive soil to produce fuel and not food when hundreds of millions of people go hungry each year. “It’s a crime against humanity to convert agriculturally productive soil into soil which is producing food stuff which will be burned into biofuel,” he said at a press conference last Friday.

Calling for a five year moratorium on bio-fuels, Mr. Ziegler’s comment came at a time when more and more politicians are looking to energy made by corn, sugarcane, and palm as an alternative to oil.

We’ve covered the environmental impacts of biofuels here, here, and here, but this is the first time that we’ve heard someone make the case against biofuels on the grounds of fighting hunger.

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