How deregulation fuels the global food crisis

Posted on August 4, 2008 

How deregulation fuels the global food crisis

In April, crowds of angry Haitians — reduced to eating mud cakes to staunch hunger — erupted in deadly protests against high food prices, forcing the prime minister to resign. The price of rice, a staple of the Haitian diet, had risen 16 percent on the world market last year, then shot up 141 percent from January to April.

Around the world, similar riots — or fears of them — have pushed governments to restrict exports, reduce tariffs, attack hoarding and take other desperate measures as prices of virtually all major food commodities have spiked — and often fluctuated wildly.

As the food crisis in Haiti worsens — and rice and bean prices have increased 100 percent — many turn to clay ‘biscuits’ as a source of food. The clay is mixed with salt and vegetable fat, then dried in the sun.

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