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article imageWorld Food Supply Dwindles Adding to Pandemic Fears

By Carol Forsloff     May 27, 2009 in World
If you're worried about the high cost of food these days, you're not alone. The current fear is that there is not enough food to go around for everyone on earth. Economists see the risks in skyrocketing food prices.
During the years 2005- 2008 wheat and corn tripled in price. The price of rice increased fivefold. This brought food riots in nearly 24 countries, with 75 million people pushed into poverty during these years. 2008, however, was unlike previous years in that price changes were dramatic at a time when the farmers of the world were producing record crops. Experts say this is a current pandemic fear concerning food supply being inadequate to meet the needs of the population of the world.
Food prices to develop not just in relationship to production of crops but also movements of the food market. There may be an abundance of food in the world, but still some people will go hungry because of distribution problems. This is long been thought to be a reasonable explanation for some nations starving while others have abundance.
But there are new problems now and these according to economists relate to less food because the world during the past 10 years has been consuming more food than it produced. This has caused food supplies to be diminished.
The rate of food production is 1 to 2% a year which does not meet increasing population growth. At this point it appears there is not enough actual food resources on the planet.
In the meantime there have been strong protests against Monsanto's increasing seed prices and engineered varieties that create crops that do not allow for continuing production. While this goes on, Forbes magazine believes that Monsanto's seed business, which has been growing rapidly, is a good investment opportunity. Mark Gulley of Gulley and Associates believes that the crop prices will allow Monsanto to raise its prices for seeds, does creating more demand and greater value for investors.
While Forbes talks about investment opportunities farmers and consumers have been worried about Monsanto's domination of the seed market. To use these seeds farmers must buy them every year and thus they become dependent on a transnational corporation. A concern is that these are new untested gene-altered products that bypass US health and safety regulations so that no one knows the true health outcomes of all this.
So while the world worries about the supply of food there are new concerns about its safety. All of this comes at a time when the economies of the world struggle to maintain solvency in the midst of growing crises.
More about Monsanto, Seeds, World food supply
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