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The Food Story: Globalization Kills

May 15, 2008 (EIRNS)—The following press release was issued today by the Lyndon LaRouche Political Action Committee (LPAC).

Under the British Empire's policies of globalization and free trade over the last 3-4 decades, the poorest regions of the world have had their ability to produce food wiped out, while their dependence on foreign imports has skyrocketed. Under current conditions of global contraction of food production, and the shock front of food price hyperinflation, these regions are facing immediate starvation. "This is genocide, period," Lyndon LaRouche commented today.

According to World Bank statistics cited in the April 27 Washington Post, the percentage of total food supply now being imported by such targeted regions is:

% food
% food
Sub-Saharan Africa
North Africa
East Asia/Pacific
South Asia

This is deliberate. If you look, for example, at Sub-Saharan Africa's self-sufficiency in cereal production (the percentage of regional consumption which is produced within the region, i.e. not imported), it fell from 104% in 1970 to 83% in 1990. In East Asia, cereal self-sufficiency fell from 54% in 1970 to 35% in 1990. And in Ibero-America, it went from 107% to 88% over those same two decades.

Although the USDA stopped producing this useful statistical series past 1990, it's obvious that the trend has continued, and worsened. For example, from 1990 to 2008, cereal imports skyrocketed by 63% in Sub-Saharan Africa, by 47% in South Asia, and by 81% in Ibero-America.

This trend can also be seen by looking at specific cases, such as Mexico, where per capita production of corn fell by 18% from 1980 to 2005, resulting in 26% of all Mexican corn consumption being imported. For beans, per capita production fell by 51% in the same period. And for rice, production plummeted by 71%—and now 69% of all rice is imported. Or Ghana, where poultry and eggs production was 95% domestic in the 1990s, now only 11%; and rice production was 80% domestic as recently as 1998, but now 80% is imported!

At least it was, until the hyperinflationary shock front hit world food prices. What happens to import-dependent countries when prices rise by 80% or 140%, as they did for rice and wheat, respectively, on the Chicago Board of Trade in April?

Genocide—unless Helga Zepp-LaRouche's call for doubling food production and reorganizing the hyperinflationary global financial system is implemented, now.