Though worldwide food shortages should be a thing of the past, today’s food crisis threatens almost 1 billion people with near term starvation. The scenes of food riots of recent months and the continuing hyperinflation of basic commodities prices should be a signal to all people of conscience that the policies of institutions like the World Trade Organization – policies that deliberately undermined nations‘ food self-sufficiency and basic food security according to the logic of the “free market” – be declared a failure, and that there be a worldwide mobilization to immediately double world food production.
With the upcoming UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) meeting June 3 to 5, members of the UC Davis campus community could play an influential role in helping to shape the FAO agenda, by calling for such a doubling of world food production and a halt to the large-scale biofuels production that has directly threatened vital food supplies. Such calls are now surfacing among some elected officials in the U.S., as well as figures in the international community, such as the French agricultural minister Michel Barnier. It‘s time to restore agricultural policy to the dictates of human need and human dignity, rather than the dictates of the “free market.“
Former Science & Technology Editor, California Aggie (2002-2003)