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Global food crisis could hit very soon, according to food policy group

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 15 2012 12:25 p.m. MDT

A global food crisis could hit very soon as corn crops in the U.S., the world's largest corn producer, have struggled due to extreme drought, the International Food Policy Research Institute told Bloomberg.

Danny Johnston, Associated Press

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A global food crisis could hit very soon as corn crops in the U.S., the world's largest corn producer, have struggled due to extreme drought, the International Food Policy Research Institute told Bloomberg.

Governments should act immediately to fix the problem, Shenggen Fan director-general of the institute, told Bloomberg. The U.S. should end its biofuel program that uses 40 percent of the nation's corn output, he told Bloomberg.

Corn is used in everything from sweeteners to food to livestock feed. Corn prices jumped to a record $8.49 a bushel on Aug. 10 and are up 57 percent since June 15, according to Bloomberg. The increase helped push up global food inflation 6.2 percent in July from the previous month, the biggest jump since November 2009, as tracked by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization.

"The major problem is policy," Fan told Bloomberg. "Biofuel production has to be stopped. That actually pushed global food prices higher and many poor people, particularly women and children, have suffered."

EMAIL: bbullock@desnews.com

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