Some things should be beyond the reach of financial markets

You cannot buy a kidney on the open market, or a liver – unless its comes on a styrofoam tray at the local butcher. You cannot buy a human life, nor sell one. You cannot buy or sell children, even to well intentioned would-be adoptive  parents. But you can control a person’s access to food, so that they and their family may starve to death. All in the name of free-trade and profit.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), who released this document of global food security yesterday:

Among the root causes of volatility, the meeting identified “Growing linkage with outside markets, in particular the impact of  ‘financialization’ on futures markets”

Despite nearly consistent production output, speculation has driven food prices up by by 60-80% for wheat and 40% for maize. Remember what happened when oil hit $140+ a barrel, and then fell back nearly $100? – that was speculative futures buying for you. Now the same is happening with food.

The Groups therefore recommended exploring “alternative approaches to mitigating food price volatility” and “new mechanisms to enhance transparency and manage the risks associated with new sources of market volatility”.

Its time they did. Lets start with a repeal of the The U.S. Commodity Futures Modernization Act – 2000,  that permitted unregulated trading on food securities and futures, opening the way for a food speculation bubble, which is one of the contributing forces to the food price spike of 2008.

Food speculation is wrong. Food security is recognized as the UN as a Basic Human Right. You cannot trade futures on Basic Human Rights. Ergo, you cannot morally use Speculation where it affects food security. We need to change the laws, and have a UN Resolution prohibiting it. We need to get this out into the public domain and start the process of raising public consciousness on the issue. Tell your friends.


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