defends biofuels from growing criticism
Reuters ^ | 4/16/08 | Raymond Colitt
Posted on Thursday, April 17, 2008 7:24:54 PM by kiriath_jearim
"Don't tell me, for the love of God, that food is expensive because of biodiesel. Food is expensive because the world wasn't prepared to see millions of Chinese, Indians, Africans, Brazilians and Latin Americans eat, (Have all suddenly increased their food consumption)" Lula told reporters.
"We want to discuss this not with passion but rationality and not from the European (Liberal Green party) point of view."
His comments follow a week of protests in
The growing criticism has placed
Critics say the increased production of crops for ethanol and biodiesel, which is derived from oil seeds, (Corn oil) competes with for land with food crops.
Competitors and critics have tried to link several leading Brazilian farm exports, from beef to soybeans, with environmental destruction and poor working conditions.
Lula, a former union leader, rebuffed accusations
by Jean Ziegler, U.N. special rapporteur for the right to food. Ziegler this week called bio-fuels a
"crime against humanity," though
he referred mainly to
"The real crime against humanity is to
discredit bio-fuels a priori and condemn food-starved and energy-starved
countries to dependence and insecurity," Lula said at a conference of the
United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization in
Lula said he was "shocked" that bio-fuel critics failed to mention the impact that high oil prices had on food production costs, such fertilizers. "It's always easier to hide economic and political interests behind supposed social and environmental interests," he said.
The European Union's environment chief said on
Tuesday that bio-fuels, which