According to a secret World Bank report obtained by the Guardian biofuels have increased global food prices by up to 75%. The report dismisses the idea that droughts in Australia and rising demand from India and China has caused the rising food costs. The report instead claims that "the EU and US drive for biofuels has had by far the biggest impact on food supply and prices".
The report "would put the World Bank in a political hot-spot with the White House." The US government claims that biofuels only contribute to about 3% in increased food prices. Senior development sources have said that the report "has not been published to avoid embarrassing President George Bush."
But it's not just USA who should feel embarrassed by the findings in the report. The European Union is also a big player in the biofuel world.
Recently the European Environment Agency's (EEA) Scientific Committee called for the suspension of EU's target to increase the share of biofuels used in transportation to 10% by 2020. The committee has called for a new, "comprehensive scientific study on the environmental risks and benefits of biofuels" before any targets should be set.
And it wasn't long ago Jean Ziegler, UN's special rapporteur on the right to food, called for the suspension of biofuels production saying biofuels are a "crime against humanity." And before that, Finance Indian Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said that "it is "outrageous" that developed countries are turning food crops into biofuels while billions of people in the developing countries are living on the edge and trying to cope with escalating food prices".
And even more pressure is expected to come from the British governments own report on the impact of biofuels, the Gallagher Report.