Argument: Biofuel production can increase the price of many foods


“The Problem With Biofuels”. CBS News. 12 July, 2008 – A new European study shows that producing biofuels is helping drive up already skyrocketing food prices, some of which have effectively doubled in the past few years.

“We shouldn’t be taking agricultural land and growing biofuels on it,” said Nick Goodhall of the UK Renewable Fuels Agency. “In that sense, of course, if we are displacing food then that means it has got to come from somewhere else. So one can easily see why there might be an effect.”

There was always going to be a relationship between what biofuels burn and what they stuff costs. But nobody really anticipated how much of an effect biofuels would have on the production and the price of food. It’s caused a serious policy rethink.

Europe will now slow down its switch to biofuels and look for other new technologies instead.

On July 4, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned that “increased demand for bio-fuels … could drive up world prices for many farm products.”[1]