The G20 plans to launch an initiative aimed at reducing food price volatility when the group’s agriculture ministers meet this month in France, the Financial Times reports.
Food Security and Nutrition
“Germany reported two more deaths and 300 more E. coli cases Wednesday, but its health minister insisted that new infections were dropping, giving some hope that the world’s deadliest E. coli outbreak was abating,” Associated Press reports (Greishaber, 6/8).
“Drought in some areas and heavy rain in others are keeping world food prices near record levels, threatening the food supply for poorer, food-importing countries,” the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in its biannual report (.pdf) on Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reports (Rai/Henshaw/Moffett, 6/8).
“We need a global approach to achieving food security,” Tom Daschle, former Senate majority leader and chair of the DuPont Advisory Committee on Agricultural Innovation and Productivity for the 21st Century, writes in a Politico opinion piece.
IRIN reports on a World Conference on Humanitarian Studies panel discussion about the manufacturing of nutrition-rich foods to treat malnutrition in the developing world.
Health officials in Germany are continuing to search for the source of an E. coli outbreak after tests on suspected sprouts from a farm in the north of the country came back negative, Deutsche Welle reports.
German officials on Sunday said an E. coli strain that has sickened more than 2,000 people and killed 22 may have originated in a batch of sprouts produced at an organic farm in the north of the country, the New York Times reports.
The food safety office of the WHO on Thursday announced that the bacterium responsible for the E. coli outbreak in Europe is a strain never seen before in humans and could mean “the infection could prove unusually difficult to bring under control,” Nature News reports (Turner, 6/2).
“Any system that produces enough food for the entire world and yet fails to feed one in seven people, which is subject to rampant speculation and land-grabbing, and where crops and land that could be used to feed people are instead turned into fuel for Hummers, is patently not working,” a Guardian editorial says.
With food costs rising for the second time in three years, Oxfam released a report on Tuesday predicting “the price of some staples such as corn will double in the next 20 years amid a permanent crisis caused by rising demand, flat crop yields and climate change,” Forbes reports (Max, 5/31).