Food

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 15th May 2008.

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Photo of David Drew David Drew Labour, Stroud

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will commission research on the effects of G8 agricultural subsidies on trends in global food prices; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Jonathan R Shaw Jonathan R Shaw Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Marine, Landscape and Rural Affairs) and Minister for the South East), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Trends in global food prices are analysed annually in the 'Agricultural Outlook' prepared jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Changes in G8 policies have not been identified as major drivers of recent developments, with the exception of support for biofuel crops. There is already a substantial economic literature on the wider question of G8 agricultural support. This shows that such support tends to increase food output, reduce prices in the rest of the world, and increase the overall cost of food production by displacing production from low-cost to G8 countries.

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