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From “The Age“:

UN food agency chief takes dig at obese

  • June 3, 2008 – 8:38PM

UN food agency chief Jacques Diouf said today that billions of dollars are being wasted on feeding obese people in the West while millions starve around the world.

“No one understands … how over-consumption by obese people in the world costs 20 billion dollars each year,” the head of the Food and Agriculture Organisation told an international summit on the food price crisis.

On top of this, he added, there are “100 billion dollars in indirect costs resulting from premature deaths and associated diseases.”

Diouf also highlighted how an estimated 1.2 trillion dollars was spent on weapons in 2006 while aid to agriculture fell by more than half, from eight billion dollars in 1984 to 3.4 billion in 2004.

“In real terms, the share of agriculture in public aid to development has fallen from 17 per cent in 1980 to three per cent in 2006,” he said.

Recent food riots “are but the chronicle of a catastrophe that was foreseen,” said Diouf, whose agency has been harshly criticised.

Diouf lamented the failure to reach a goal set by the 1996 World Food Summit in Rome of reducing the number of hungry by half by 2015.

“With current trends the summit’s goal will be attained in 2150 instead of 2015,” he added.

Diouf said “the international community reacts, unfortunately, only when the media bring into the living rooms of wealthy countries the sad spectacle of those who suffer in the world.”

AFP

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