Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Biofuels would generate more than 16 million starving people in the world

Caracas, April 22 ABN.- The implementation of biofuels as an alternative way of energy would generate during the following 10 years more than 16 million starving people in the world, informed the Minister of People's Power for Agriculture and Lands, Elias Jaua.

Minister Jaua stressed, during an interview at a program on the state-owned Venezolana de Television, that different reports and speeches of members of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) show that the implementation of biofuels as alternative energy has caused “famine around the world to increase relevantly and that these biofuels policies might get to increase in 16 million people starving in the world for the next ten years.”

Jaua made clear that the Venezuelan Government has warned about this issue in different international summits.

“We have warned about this, we have warned about it more firmly since the biofuels policy appeared, the so-called biofuels, because those are in fact agrofuels. Fortunately, Venezuela has been taking the necessary policies in order to prevent that end,” stated Jaua.

“This is part of what presidents Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez had been warning since some years ago, as president Chávez did five years ago at the FAO World Food Summit, and he offered a program of developing seeds in countries with fertile lands and he made our lands available,” added the Minister.

Regarding to this, Jaua expressed that “at the end, that proposal went into the bureaucracy and into the international legalisms; that only to quote some of the several initiatives that Venezuela has had to warn about this situation.”

Jaua insisted that “in the design of public policies for the production of fuels, it is essential to take into account the importance, firstly, of the right to food and food security of human beings faced to any kind of the countries' energy necessity.”

“In August of this years, the United Nations warned about the difficulties that would present because of biofuels; however, there was no kind of alert of this matter,” said Jaua.

The Minister mentioned that the United Nations have also expressed their concern about the creation of biofuels because “it will have as consequence the world famine, because the wrong idea of turning foods as corn, sugar and palm oil in fuels secures a global disaster.”

Jaua insisted on that in the use of biofuels “exists a great risk on causing a battle between foods and fuels, it is to say between human beings and vehicles.”

He remarked that these policies “not only put in risk the current foods, but there is also the real possibility of stop producing them as for human beings as for fuels.”

Jaua expressed that in ecological matters it also cases an unavoidable damage, and it shows to be unfeasible as alternative energy.

He said that these policies to use ethanol and biodiesel “are policies strengthened by the United States as part of its strategy to exceed the energy crisis they have and which they could not solve with the Iraq invasion due to the heroic resistance that the Iraqi people is showing and which has avoid them (the US) to control the oil supplies they expected for months.”

The Minister warned that “in order to achieve this plan, the United States would have to locate all the cereal production, and they are trying to do it in Latin America, Europe would have to devote 75% of its land only to develop a fuel policy.”

He also stated that an example of biofuels perverseness is that “in order to fill a gas tank it is required 200 kilograms of corn and also 8 liters of water to become it in useful fuel for vehicles; those same 200 kilograms of corn would serve to feed a person during a whole year.”

“That is the crude reality of what is happening with corn, rice, wheat, sugar cane, the oil palm tree which is the essential source of the oils used fort the production of fuels,” reiterated Minister Jaua when referring to the food crisis foreseen in short-term for the world.

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