EU Malthusians Not Worried About Hunger, but about an Increase in Food Production

The Ukraine-Russia military conflict, two nations that together provide 29% of the world’s wheat exports, has provoked a certain awareness of the precariousness of the world’s food supplies and the dangers of import dependency. For the EU, although food shortages are not yet an issue, the costs of ensuring the availability of food are soaring. The explosion of fossil fuel prices has made food production more expensive, especially for fertilizers, pesticides, packaging and transport. While Europeans may be able to foot the bill, developing nations are heading towards food riots and political upheavals.

The EU Commission, while admitting it fears a world food crisis within the next 12 to 18 months, refuses nonetheless to scrap its Green Farm to Fork program, which aims to reduce the use of pesticides by 50% and of fertilizers by 20%, and to increase bio-farming from the current 9% to 25% of the EU’s farmland — all by 2030. However, the Commission did adopt various support measures for farmers on March 23, including “an exceptional and temporary derogation to allow the production of any crops for food and feed purposes on fallow land, while maintaining the full level of the greening payment for farmer. This will enlarge the EU’s production capacity in spite of the limited availability of fertile land.” (But only provided that farmers will have the means to pay the inflated prices for fertilizers and fuel).

Even this timid measure is creating waves of “green” hysteria. Already on March 18, i.e. five days earlier, the Potsdam Climate Institute (PIK), notorious for the deadly population reduction proposals of Joachim Shellnhuber, released a call backed by 400 scientists, calling for NO increase in food production but for a change in diets! “There is more than enough food to feed the world, also now during this war,” claims one of the co-authors, Sabine Gabrysch. The PIK calls for consuming less meat and other animal products in Europe, for using less nitrogen fertilizer, and reducing food waste.

In a sophistic opinion piece published on March 31 by Le Monde, a group of specialists in world food security and international markets, put out the same argument. “Industrial agriculture”, in their view, consumes far too much fertilizer and fossil fuel. Moreoever, they claim that increased agricultural production in Europe would not “avoid food crises in Africa and the Middle East”, although many farmers and political leaders believe they have a responsibility to feed these countries. They don’t say a word about the energy, water and other infrastructure needs of poor countries, but just advise food-importing nations to develop domestic production.

On one point, however, they are correct: far too much vegetable oil is wasted in the production of inefficient biofuels…

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