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ActionAid Challenges G8 on Response to Food Crisis
Date:7/2/2008

G8 failure on food prices, biofuels, and climate change places 1.7 billion people - 25% of the world's population - at risk of hunger, warns anti-poverty agency ActionAid.

WASHINGTON, July 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Days ahead of the G8 summit in Hokkaido, Japan, ActionAid launches a new report, "Cereal Offenders: How the G8 has Contributed to the Global Food Crisis and What They Can Do to Stop It." Read the full report at: http://www.actionaidusa.org/assets/pdfs/food_rights/cereal_offenders_final_ us.pdf

Report author and ActionAid's Food Rights Policy Associate, Ilana Solomon, said:

"The insatiable demand for biofuels has caused cereal prices to rise and production to shift from food crops for global needs to biofuel crops for Northern SUVs. The G8 must take urgent action to shift grain production back to meet the needs of people, not cars.

"It is estimated that biofuels production alone accounts for up to 30% of the hike in food prices. The crisis is exacerbated by climate change and failed agricultural policies. If this trend continues, ActionAid estimates that an additional 850 million people could go hungry by 2009. Eight years after G8 leaders led the world community in pledging to halve the number of hungry people, their current policies instead threaten to double that number."

ActionAid is calling on G8 leaders to act now to slow the biofuel juggernaut by:

-- Supporting a five-year moratorium on biofuel expansion to prevent farmland being converted into biofuel plantations;

-- Ending subsidies and targets aimed at increasing the use of ethanol and biodiesel in the US and European Union;

-- Scaling up alternative renewable energy sources instead of subsidizing biofuels.

ActionAid's report also criticizes the G8's failure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, insisting that
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SOURCE ActionAid International USA
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