Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Food price rises are "mass murder"-UN envoy

Food price rises are "mass murder"-UN envoy

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Global food price rises are leading to "silent mass murder" and commodities markets have brought "horror" to the world, the United Nations' food envoy told an Austrian newspaper on Sunday.

Jean Ziegler, UN special rapporteur on the right to food, told Kurier am Sonntag that growth in biofuels, speculation on commodities markets and European Union export subsidies mean the West is responsible for mass starvation in poorer countries.

Ziegler said he was bound to highlight the "madness" of people who think that hunger is down to fate.

"Hunger has not been down to fate for a long time -- just as (Karl) Marx thought. It is rather that a murder is behind every victim. This is silent mass murder," he said in an interview.

Ziegler blamed globalisation for "monopolising the riches of the earth" and said multinationals were responsible for a type of "structural violence".

"And we have a herd of market traders, speculators and financial bandits who have turned wild and constructed a world of inequality and horror. We have to put a stop to this," he said.

Ziegler said he believed that one day starving people could rise up against their persecutors. "It's just as possible as the French Revolution was," he said.

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