By Kimberly Bien
In recent years, the media has focused on global food riots that have resulted from increasing food prices. For example, rioting over high food costs in Algeria earlier in 2011 can be seen here. The rising violence of the food riots in Algeria and Tunisia demonstrate how quickly both individual’s lives and how society operates when people are unable to feed themselves. The global food crisis has forced the poorest people in the world to give up important social expenditures, like health and education, to be able to buy basic commodities like corn and sugar, and face the real risk of hunger and malnutrition. In fact, from June 2010 to January 2011 corn and sugar prices had increased an astounding 73%
The Stop Tax-Breaks for Oil Profiteering and Commodity Speculation Act (STOP Commodity Speculation Act) would close a loophole that gives financial speculators tax incentives to gamble on the commodity market, which has been linked to the rising food prices. Senator Wyden’s (D-OR) legislation, and would likely bring an end to uncontrollable rising commodity prices, allowing the poorest to buy basic commodities and social investments.