There have not "always been" this many starving people


VIENNA (Reuters) – Global food price rises are leading to “silent mass murder” and commodities markets have brought “horror” to the world, the United Nations’ food envoy told an Austrian newspaper on Sunday.

Jean Ziegler, UN special rapporteur on the right to food, told Kurier am Sonntag

that growth in biofuels, speculation on commodities markets and European Union export subsidies mean the West is responsible for mass starvation in poorer countries.

Ziegler said he was bound to highlight the “madness” of people who think that hunger is down to fate.

“Hunger has not been down to fate for a long time — just as (Karl) Marx thought. It is rather that a murder is behind every victim. This is silent mass murder,” he said in an interview.

Ziegler blamed globalization for “monopolizing the riches of the earth” and said multinationals were responsible for a type of “structural violence”.

“And we have a herd of market traders, speculators and financial bandits who have turned wild and constructed a world of inequality and horror. We have to put a stop to this,” he said.

Ziegler said he believed that one day starving people could rise up against their persecutors. “It’s just as possible as the French Revolution was,” he said.

(Reporting by Sylvia Westall; Editing by Giles Elgood)

For a range of articles about the dire situation that is escalating globally …. the horror of it ….. you can read a summary, with suggestions for action, by clicking here.

Meanwhile, I can’t get out of my head the opening lines of Carl Dennis’s poem, “Birthday”:

Now that the time remaining is insubstantial,
I need to review my history while asking
What exactly it suggests I’ve lived for

5 thoughts on “There have not "always been" this many starving people

  1. Susan Girard

    The battery operated trike I am thinking about buying is sounding better all the time.

    Peak Food is much more serious than Peak Oil but it’s only people like you Lis who seem to make the situation known.
    Thank you as always for the little reminder that my wants are not the centre of the universe.

  2. Verdurous

    Poverty amongst plenty.

    The really sad part is that while people starve, the US spends more on pet food than foreign aid, and that 30% of all food is discarded in that same country. Australia is probably fairly close behind.

  3. Lis

    People have been sucked in by marketing to believe that they have to buy highly processed tinned meat or biscuits for their “pets”. Animals the world over survive without heavily packaged animal products and are often the first step in reducing human waste (ie. they can eat our food scraps) … if the pet food budget went to foreign aid and the 30% of discarded food went to pets then at least people would begin to get the message as to where our priorities should lie …. somewhere in the vicinity of “compassion” rather than self indulgence

    I continue to recommend reading

  4. Lis

    This is an excellent new article about the Global Food Crisis in Common Dreams today ….. ending with:
    “Congress should also embrace trade and development policies that help developing countries regulate markets with an eye to feeding the hungry rather than feeding corporate profits. This principle, known as “food sovereignty,” sees struggling farmers and hungry people and says, as the Oakland Institute’s Anuradha Mittal observes, that it is time to “stop worshiping the golden calf of the so-called free market and embrace, instead, the principle [that] every country and every people have a right to food that is affordable.” As Mittal says, “When the market deprives them of this, it is the market that has to give.”

Comments are closed.