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Playing the Blame Game: Who is Behind the Food Crisis?

July 2008

Research presented in the Oakland Institute’s recent publication “The Blame Game: Who is behind the World Food Crisis?” pokes holes through the myth that the “economic prosperity” experienced by an emerging minority in India has been a major contributor to the dramatic increase in global food prices.

The report challenges the messaging spin of the US State Department that both scapegoats the two largest emergent economies (India and China) for the surge in food prices and supports a neoconservative argument “that the economic boom has improved people’s diets … also helps generate the perception that the market friendly reforms initiated in India have contributed positively to the to uplifting of the poor and underprivileged. Data proves the contrary.”

While several world leaders, including President Lula of Brazil and President Bush of the US, were quick to blame India and China’s growing economies as the cause of the sharp increase in food prices, Grassroots International and our partners point to underlying long-term structural causes of the broken food system. For many years Grassroots International has been working with our partners in the Global South on resource rights (rights to land and water) and the right to food. We have learned from our partners and allies – mostly peasants and family farmers – that food sovereignty, or the local control of food production and consumption, is the most powerful way to address the food crisis.

I invite you to read “The Blame Game: Who is behind the World Food Crisis?to learn more about how “growing hunger and poverty in India amidst plenty is emblematic of hunger worldwide [and how the crisis in food prices has been] manufactured by decades of neglect of agriculture in poor countries.”.

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