"Nichts mehr davon, ich bitt euch. Zu essen gebt ihm, zu wohnen.
Habt ihr die Blöße bedeckt, gibt sich die Würde von selbst."
Friedrich Schiller
  May 2008 FOOD


Danish Schiller Institute To Testify Before Two Parliamentary Committees on Food Crisis


It is now official that the Schiller Institute in Denmark is scheduled to testify on the world food crisis and our solutions, to both the Danish parliament's foreign policy committee, on Thursday, May 22, and the farming committee, on Wednesday, May 28. Helga Zepp-LaRouche's main article and update article about the food crisis, as well as coverage from the SI newsletter {Prometheus}, are available as official parliamentary documents at ft.dk. search (soeg) for "Schiller."

Speech by Tom Gillesberg during the Schiller Institute’s testimony before the Danish Parliament’s Foreign Policy Committee on May 22, 2008

The food crisis demands action now!

I am Tom Gillesberg, president of Schiller Institute in Denmark.

Thank you for allowing us to come on such short notice.

We are in the middle of a collapse of the global finance system. The world is in need of food, and hyperinflationary food price rises have made basic food unavailable for many poor people. It is an acute food crisis. Despite the fact that the president of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, FAO, raised the alarm six months ago, the crisis has been held out of the focus of the press until recently. 40 countries have already experienced food riots, and, according to the Asiatic Development Bank, a billion people in Asia are already seriously threatened by famine. In Africa, Latin America and other places, another billion people are facing the same fate.

On June, 3-5, there will be an FAO summit meeting in Rome. It was supposed to discuss climate changes and biofuels, but, in the light of the acute accelerating global food crisis, the Schiller Institute’s international president, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, started a global campaign to discuss the food crisis insteadi. Both immediate actions which can avert the worst effects of the food crisis, and a program to double the global food supply, and ensure that we can both feed the present population, and the nine billion people which the UN estimates we will have by 2050. With the available technology we have today, there is no reason for people to die because of underdevelopment, hunger and bad nutrition. The Schiller Institute has asserted this since its founding, and put forward with increased intensity, since American economist and former Democratic presidential candidate, Lyndon LaRouche, started his Food for Peace campaign in 1988.

The causes of the food crisis

The most horrible thing about the food crisis is that it is not a result of climate changes or unpredictable natural catastrophes, but of wrong Malthusian policies, which have reduced the global accessibility of food, and have thereby turned the food most necessary for life, into the hottest speculation object in the financial world. Speculators earn billions of dollars, while millions of people die.

The popular excuses for the food crisis, as, for example, that it is due to a disappointing harvest in Australia, and that the Indians and the Chinese have begun to eat more, is cynical manipulation. If one looks at global grain production per capita during the last 50 years (see graph), it is obvious that the production rose until the end of the 1980's, due to programs for national food self sufficiency, and the use of scientific and technological progressii.

Since the end of the 80's, it has gone the other way. This has been the result of a change in the overall economic and trade policies. Food stocks suddenly became renamed surplus stock, which should be disposed of as soon as possible. Farmers were paid for producing less, instead of more. Due to GATT, and later, The World Trade Organisation, WTO, the countries of the world were forced to remove national protection arrangements for their agriculture, and replace food security with ”free” market mechanisms. Farmers were paid less, while multinational food giants were raking it in. At the same time, the western world, through the IMF, the World Bank, and others, forced poor debt-ridden countries to replace their production of food for their home markets, with underpaid exports, to obtain income to pay off their debts. Without regard for the danger to their food supply.

In the name of the environment, agricultural productivity was lowered through restrictions on fertilizer and pesticides, and subsidies for set-aside fields were established, to lower the so-called ”overproduction.” In recent years, this madness was topped off by the decision to subsidize the production of biofuels from corn and grain. In 2007 alone, corn and grain which could have fed 130 million people for a whole year, was made to bio-ethanoliii. The UN’s special reporter for ”the Right to Food”-program, has called this ”a crime against humanity” – a subject Egypt’s President Mubarak has said he will bring up at the FAO meeting in Rome.

The Malthusian policies of the past 25 years – in the holy name of ”environment consciousness” and globalization – are therefore the cause of the food crisis which now threatens humanity.

The solution to the food crisis

Just as it was a wrong international policy that created this food crisis, it is also a changed international policy that can solve it. Therefore, the Schiller Institute urges the Parliament and the Danish government to act on the following points, and insure that they are put on the agenda of the FAO conference in the beginning of June:

1. Food aid and fast emergency help to finance sow seed, fertilizer, and agricultural machines for poor nations, in order to increase the food supply already by the next harvest.

2. Immediately stop the use of food for biofuel.

3. Stop WTO’s attack on national food supply security programs, and secure production prices for farmers.

4. A new green revolution for the increase of agricultural productivity.

5. Programs in poor nations to increase the food supply through investments in infrastructure, the food industry, and water projects.

6. Intervention against global speculation in food and oil, which shares the responsibility for rising food prices, as well as the establishment of a new Bretton Woods financial system, before the present financial system completely breaks down, as proposed by Lyndon LaRouche,iv and Italian Finance Minister Tremonti.

7. Long term investment in large infrastructure projects, such as The Eurasian Land Bridge, which will reduce transportation time, increase the production of energy, and promote the development of underdeveloped regions.

Denmark’s responsibility

Denmark is a rich country, which is also an agricultural country. And yet, we have allowed ourselves to be blinded by the phantasmagoria of British liberalism, and have helped propagandize for the abolition of that kind of economic and food policy, which, during the period after World War II, ensured more food on the table, for a growing population. We have helped force a global free trade policy on the world, which has meant that the thing most essential for us humans – food – has been reduced to only being a speculations object and a commodity. To eat until one is full, is a human right, and food must therefore not be ruled by normal trade and market mechanisms.

Denmark’s and [Danish EU Commissioner for Agriculture] Marianne Fischer Boel’s attempt to get rid of the remnants of the EU's Common Agricultural Program, will just add insult to injury, by harming farmers’ conditions even more, and reducing food production in the EU. If we replace our own food production with duty-free imports from poor countries, we will not, as maintained, better their situation, but only make sure that farmers in the developing countries, who should produce food for their local markets, produce for us instead, and leave behind more hungry stomachs in Africa, Asia and South America. Instead, we must increase our production by reestablishing productions prices in the EU, and collaborate with the strategic partnership between Russia, China and India ­– and hopefully soon, the USA – in order to prevent a world order based on a modern version of The British Empire’s policy, and the resulting conflicts and wars.

Denmark must make good the harm done, by assuring that instead of using environmental arguments to put hindrances in the way of the necessary production of food, we create a genuine green revolution, with modern science and technology. Let us replace the Malthusian policies of the recent years, with a doubling of the world’s food production, as the first step in establishing a new economic world order, where we, with the help of scientific and technological progress, give all people peace, security and prosperity.

Thank you.


1 and 2: “Instead of war and hunger, let’s double food production,” and “Mobilization to Double Food Production is in Full Swing” by Helga Zepp-LaRouche
3: ”To Defeat Famine Kill the WTO” by Marcia Merry Baker
4: “Showdown over Gorey/WTO Plans To ”Let Them Starve” by Marcia Merry Baker
5: “Out with Malthusian Ideas; Let's Develop the Planet!”