Large biofuel producers defend energy policies

The Brazilian president and the German chancellor both rejected criticisms on Thursday that their countries' production of biofuels were forcing a surge in global food prices and harming the environment.

Brazil’s president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva accused critics of
failing to highlight increased demand in developing countries as a
factor pushing up food production costs. He rebuffed accusations by
Jean Ziegler, the UN’s special rapporteur for the right to food, that
biofuels were a "crime against humanity".

"The real crime against humanity is to discredit biofuels a priori and
condemn food-starved and energy-starved countries to dependence and
insecurity," Lula said.

Germany is Europe’s largest biofuel producer. In a separate statement,
chancellor Angela Merkel blamed rising food prices on "inadequate
agricultural policies in developing countries" and "insufficient
forecasts of changes in nutritional habits" in emerging markets.

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