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A judge rules on a controversial citizenship question for the 2020 Census; some fishing communities expect to feel the effects of the government shutdown; and new climate concerns as Antarctic ice is melting faster than we thought.

Daily Newscasts

A Hungry Mob is an Angry Mob

February 17, 2011

PHOENIX, Ariz. - Farms and ranches in Arizona and across the U.S. supply food for much of the world, but the cost of that food for many could be helping drive revolution across the globe. A lot has been written and said about a "hunger for freedom" driving great changes in the Arab world, but just plain hunger is playing a role as well.

A new report from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) finds world food prices have reached an historic peak, and instability is being fueled by poor people in developing countries spending up to 80 percent of their income on food.

Eric Munoz, senior policy advisor with the hunger-fighting group Oxfam America, says hunger breeds political instability and turmoil.

"It's not a problem to go into a market here in the United States and find shelves full of food. In some other countries, the price of food going up means that the markets are bare."

Munoz says high food prices and persistent hunger create the perfect breeding ground for the kind of unrest that's driving people to the streets.

"You end up with bare cupboards and bare markets, and people are not going to stand for that."

Oxfam America is calling for the Committee on Food Security, the global body responsible for tackling hunger, to establish a task force of government ministers from rich and poor countries, Munoz says, so they can develop an emergency response plan by June.

New FAO figures for January 2011 show that world food prices are at their highest level since the organization started measuring them in 1990.

Doug Ramsey, Public News Service - AZ