Biofuels Not Worth Upward Push on Food Prices: UN

Nations should rethink subsidies: report
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2008 4:33 PM CDT
Charles Fletcher stocks produce on shelves as a bucket of yellow corn is seen in the foreground in a grocery store in St. Louis.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – While use of biofuels is supposed to combat climate change, the effects of its production on food prices is not worth the emissions they offset, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization said today. The FAO called for countries to review production quotas and subsidies that encourage biofuel use in light of the “continued upward pressure” on the price of agricultural goods, the Financial Times reports.

Beside using up precious foodstuffs, the FAO finds that production of some biofuels produces more greenhouse gases than the consumption of an equivalent amount of fossil fuels. Germany announced this week that it had reduced the amount of biodiesel it seeks to blend into diesel fuel, and other European countries are expected to follow suit.