Obama, Hollande Hold Back G20 from Responding to World Food Crisis, Rejecting All Appeals for Action
August 29, 2012 • 10:07AM

Tuesday morning, it was announced that the Group of 20 nations will postpone taking any action on the world food crisis until late September, after the Sept. 12 release of the U.S. monthly report on "World Agricultural Supply and Demand," on harvests and stocks. The decision to prevaricate, was announced in Paris by French Agriculture and Food Minister Stephane Le Foll, who chairs the G20 Agriculture Committee. The French Agriculture Ministry released a statement. Le Foll said, "There will be a communication at the end of September."

LeFoll and officials from the United States were on a conference call Aug. 27 on whether to do anything right away about the food crisis. Other participants included Mexican President Felipe Calderon, president of the G20, and representatives of the World Bank, the OECD, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and IFPRI (International Food Policy Research Institute). The framework for the call came from the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS), set up last year by the G20, to be on standby for food supply problems.

The G20 inaction comes in the face of fast-worsening shortages in the world's food chains, including vast North American corn harvest losses from drought, and huge wheat losses in the grain belt of Ukraine, Russia, and Kazakhstan, also from drought. The G20 stall-out is consistent with the Obama do-nothing stance in the United States, in the face of turmoil in the livestock sector, and throughout the farm sector, given the acute water shortages, and non-existence of reserves, per the WTO.

Yesterday's G20 decision throws renewed world attention on the LPAC-led drive inside the U.S. to get Obama out of the Presidency, as well as to thwart the Romney non-alternative.

The government of South Korea was one of the many voices in recent days, calling for the G20 to act. It was ignored. On Aug. 23, President Lee Myung-bak sent a letter to all G20 governments, outlining potential measures to intervene, including to curb food commodity speculation. He said that, "a food crisis could lead to consequences more dire than that of an oil and energy crisis, threatening the survival of the poor and vulnerable of developing countries, particularly low-income countries. We must respond urgently to prevent such a crisis."

The FAO, on Aug. 27, also called on the major governments to act on the situation, not wait.

Tuesday, French President Francois Hollande was due to meet with the largest of the French farm unions, the FNSEA. Commodity speculation, especially on food, is going wild. A new record was set recently on the Chicago Board of Trade, for December delivery of corn futures at $8.40 a bushel.

LeFoll denounced the speculation yesterday, saying, "There have been shifts [of hot money], speculators leaving other markets to come to food markets. We need to stop this..." But the G20 decided not to.