Speculators inflate food prices


Frank Jordans
Associated Press
April 28, 2008

GENEVA (AP) — U.N. officials today blamed market speculation for the recent jump in global food prices and called for a concerted effort to ensure that the world’s poor can afford to eat.

“We have enough food on this planet today to feed everyone,” the head of the U.N. Environment Program, Achim Steiner, told the Associated Press in a telephone interview.

But “the way that markets and supplies are currently being influenced by perceptions of future markets is distorting access to that food.”

“Real people and real lives are being affected by a dimension that is essentially speculative,” said Steiner, noting that millions have found themselves unable to pay for food since prices began to rise steeply at the start of the year.

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