Agricultural heads of the G20 nations are set to meet this week in Paris in an attempt to address rising food prices and food insecurity in developing nations.

Predictably, a disproportionate focus in the lead-up to the meeting has been on biofuels.

A June 2, 2011, report from a group of international organizations put much of the blame for volatile world food prices on the back of biofuel production and largely ignored the role of global oil prices and market speculation.

“It may be vogue for certain groups to blame biofuels for global hunger issues as though they didn’t exist before biofuel production, but that doesn’t mean eliminating biofuels policies will somehow put more food on the plates in developing nations,” said Renewable Fuels Association Vice-President for Research and Analysis Geoff Cooper.

“Exorbitant oil prices, excessive speculation in commodities markets, recent weather events, and host of other issues all play more significant roles in determining the price and availability of food than does biofuel production. As numerous reports have noted, bioenergy production can provide the catalyst many nations need to invest in agricultural technology, thus improving productivity, food security and their own energy stability.”

“Because the report is incomplete and unbalanced, we encourage G20 leaders to reject its findings and request a revision that takes into account the available literature on the impact of biofuels on world food prices, the broader range of factors contributing to food price volatility, and comments from stakeholders,” Cooper said.