For the period 2000-2008, Jean Ziegler was the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food.
Three questions to Jean Ziegler:
The destruction of men by hunger is the scandal of the century, you write ...
Every 5 seconds, a child under 10 dies of hunger, 57,000 people die of hunger every day and one of the seven billion people on the planet is permanently and seriously undernourished. The report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture department on How to Feed the World, which gives these figures, says global agriculture could normally feed 12 billion humans. Conclusion: At the beginning of this millennium, there is no more objective shortage.
Who is responsible for this scandal?
85% of all food traded worldwide in 2011 was controlled by ten private transcontinental companies. They have power over the lives of men that no king, emperor or pope has ever had in the history of mankind. These companies decide every day through price fixing, for example, who will go hungry, who will die or who will eat and who will live. Last year one U.S. company controlled 31.8% of all wheat marketed worldwide. Another company, a French one, controlled 38.9% of all rice traded in the world.
Are there reasons for hope?
Yes. All the murderous mechanisms responsible for the daily massacres that I denounce are made by the human hand and can be broken by the same hand. France is a democracy and the 5th largest economy in the world. There is no powerlessness in a democracy. If there was a general revolt of people’s conscience, we could force the Parliament to legally prohibit market speculation on basic foods, for example.
Collected by Édouard MARET – Pour Jean Ziegler, la faim peut être vaincue – Rennes
Source: Ouest France
Siv O'Neall is an Axis of Logic columnist, based in France. Her insightful essays are republished and read worldwide. She can be reached at email@example.com.