Scientific commentator Jonathan Latham has slammed conventional agribusinesses such as Monsanto and Cargill, and ‘their bedfellows’ including the US Farm Bureau and the UK’s National Farmers Union for suggesting that the world needs to produce more food.
Writing on the website: Independent Science News, which he also edits, Dr Latham says, “There is no global or regional shortage of food. There never has been and nor is there ever likely to be. India has a superabundance of food. South America is swamped in food. The US, Australia, New Zealand and Europe are swamped in food. In Britain, like in many wealthy countries, nearly half of all row crop food production now goes to biofuels, which at bottom are an attempt to dispose of surplus agricultural products. China isn’t quite swamped but it still exports food; and it grows 30% of the world’s cotton. No foodpocalypse there either.”
However, his assertions are undermined by the latest official data from Defra which reveals that around 42,000 hectares of land are used to grow biofuel feedstock in the UK, less than 0.7 per cent of the country’s arable area.