The Guardian is reporting that a secret World Bank report attributes 75% of the recent rise in food prices to the push for biofuels in the US and EU (via). The use of sugar-cane based ethanol in Brazil was exonerated as a factor, however. The report contradicts the Bush administration claim that biofuels are responsible for less than 3% of the rise in food prices. The Guardian further claims that the World Bank has suppressed the report to avoid embarrassing the Bush administration.
Rising food prices have pushed 100,000,000 people below the global poverty line, leading one UN expert to call the push for biofuels a "crime against humanity". If that's true, it is an outstanding example of the banality of evil. The worst crimes in the world today? Genocide in Darfur, Torture in Gitmo, and politicians wooing Iowa voters with ethanol subsidies. It's like finding out that kissing babies at campaign stops gives the tots cancer.