The threat of a global and even U.S. food crisis is growing, as Russia’s war on Ukraine drags on and U.S. fuel and fertilizer prices soar.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken accuses Russia’s Vladimir Putin of exporting starvation and suffering to Africa and the Middle East with his war on Ukraine.
“President Putin is stopping food from being shipped and aggressively using his propaganda machine to deflect or distort responsibility because it hopes it will get the world to give into him and end the sanctions. In other words, quite simply put, it’s blackmail.”
But the food crisis could be getting closer to home. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, on the now near-daily records for gas and diesel prices fueled by the war, growing demand, and tight supplies.
“The big impact of that is on food, and five-dollar gas without truckers to haul the food, is going to not only make it expensive, but probably create, supplies of food. And we shouldn’t have that in America.”
Meaning of course, supply ‘shortages,’ instead.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack admits the food crisis is a “monumental challenge,” but claims Putin miscalculated Western resolve.
“And he probably hoped that the tension would strain our relationships with one another. But in fact, he was wrong. We continue to prove him wrong by keeping the lines of trade open, by avoiding export restrictions, by sharing resources and by working together through these difficult times.”
Vilsack recently led a global food security roundtable with Secretary Blinken. Vilsack says USDA is investing two billion dollars on food resilience and competition, 500 million in U.S. fertilizer production, and 282 million in humanitarian food aid.
But while the war in Ukraine continues, Grassley says it will make “a big difference,” in the global food supply and prices.