Photo Credit: Jason DeCrow, The AP
Earlier this week, Bill Clinton said at the UN that, "we all blew it, including me as president" by treating food crops as commodity rather than a right of the poor. Addressing attendees to the week's World Food Day, Clinton took to reprimanding the World Bank, IMF and other global institutions, that with pressure from the US forced Africans to via market models to invest in fertilizers and GMO seeds, leaving them further away from food self-sufficiency. More below the fold.Speaking to a struggling food economy where grain prices have doubled and some food items in Haiti and Ethiopia are five hundred times greater than normal, Clinton said,
Food is not a commodity like others. We should go back to a policy of maximum food self-sufficiency. It is crazy for us to think we can develop countries around the world without increasing their ability to feed themselves.
Clinton cited corn subsidies and US food aid policies as key problems contributing to the global food crisis. The US investment in corn, largely with the hope of producing more ethanol for fuel, has been a main factor in the world's rising grain prices. US food aid still comes in the form of American-grown food commodities. Canada sends 50 percent of its food aid as cash to purchase local crops in Africa and other countries in the Global South. Though Bush proposed the US shift to a 25 percent cash-aid system, a bi-partisan coalition shot down the measure.