UN Head: Drop Policies That Up Food Prices

Ban urges global response to avert mass starvation
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 2, 2008 8:44 AM CDT
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will plead with world leaders at a food summit in Rome tomorrow to suspend trade restrictions, agricultural taxes, and other price controls that have helped create the highest food prices in 30 years, reports the Washington Post. Ban will also urge the US and other countries to phase out subsidies for food-based biofuels, such as ethanol, which have added to the spike in food costs.

The primary goal of the food summit will be to deliver assistance to the world's hungriest and to guarantee that subsistence farmers across the globe will have seeds and fertilizers they need to plant their crops this season. World Bank President Robert Zoellick last week offered $1.2 billion in financing for agricultural support, including $200 million in grants to help the world's poorest nations.