UN calls for regulation of food speculation

UN calls for regulation of food speculation

Date: 6 June 2011

In a report released yesterday, the United Nations called for the regulation of financial speculation on food prices, to prevent “price bubbles”.

Financial gambling by banks, hedge funds and pension funds causes massive hikes in the price of basic foods, making millions of people go hungry. 

The report by the UN’s Conference on Trade and Development says that due to speculation, prices are no longer driven by supply and demand.

Prices can move far from levels justified by the fundamentals for extended periods, leading to an increasing risk of price bubbles.”  

The report calls for more transparency and international oversight of commodity markets.

Our campaign has been ramping up the pressure on policy makers to take action. Last week hundreds of emails were sent to the members of the European Parliament’s economic affairs committee who voted overwhelmingly in favour of tightening up how derivatives are traded. 

But there is still much to do. The main European legislation that will include provisions to comprehensively regulate food speculation will be published in the autumn. In the meantime, we need to get the UK government to back regulation. Please email the Treasury asking the government to support European proposals and protect millions of the world’s poorest people from poverty and hunger.