Monday, February 25, 2008

Europeans accused of harming Africa's poor by shunning imported food to limit climate change

From this article:
European consumers shunning imported food supposedly to limit climate change should not make African farmers a scapegoat, a Brussels conference has been told.

In Britain, several supermarkets have begun labelling products flown into the country with stickers marked “air-freighted,” to reflect concern about the contribution of aviation to global warming.

But Benito Müller, a director at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, dismissed the concept of food miles as “an extremely oversimplified indicator” of ecological impact.

Saying he was “really angry” with the implicit message that agricultural produce from Africa should be avoided, Müller claimed that less greenhouse gas emissions are often emitted from the cultivation and transport of such goods than they would be if grown in Europe.

Strawberries imported from Kenya during the winter, he maintained, have a lower “carbon footprint,” a measure to ascertain the effect of a method of production on the environment — than those grown in a heated British greenhouse, even when their transport by air from Africa is taken into account.
(Via Marc Morano)

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