Economists Urge Obama Not to ‘Overreact’ to High Food Prices

FAO Food Price Index 1990-2011/Wiki commons UN chart

James Rosen
Fox News

Leading advocates for the world’s poorest and hungriest are urging President Obama not to “overreact” to recent spikes in food prices, particularly by imposing export bans on U.S. agricultural products.

In its February report, the World Bank noted “sharp increases” in the global prices of wheat, maize, sugar, and edible oils over the last six months, with an accompanying rise, albeit smaller, in the price of rice. The bank’s food price index surged by 15 percent over the last quarter of 2010, and stands only three percentage points below its peak, reached in June 2008. Since then, an estimated 44 million people in developing countries have fallen below the poverty line.

Rising food prices have been linked to the unrest that has swept through the Middle East and North Africa in recent weeks. In most of the uprisings, calls for greater personal and political freedoms have been accompanied by complaints about unaffordable staple food prices.

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