By Geoffrey Lean, Independent UK. Posted May 5, 2008.
Speculators blamed for driving up price of basic foods as 100 million face severe hunger.
Giant agribusinesses are enjoying soaring earnings and profits out of the world food crisis which is driving millions of people towards starvation, The Independent on Sunday can reveal. And speculation is helping to drive the prices of basic foodstuffs out of the reach of the hungry.
The prices of wheat, corn and rice have soared over the past year driving the world's poor -- who already spend about 80 per cent of their income on food -- into hunger and destitution.
The World Bank says that 100 million more people are facing severe hunger. Yet some of the world's richest food companies are making record profits. Monsanto last month reported that its net income for the three months up to the end of February this year had more than doubled over the same period in 2007, from $543m (£275m) to $1.12 billion. Its profits increased from $1.44 billion to $2.22 billion. Read On