Food Price Complexities Require Nuance
KRIPKE TAKES ISSUE WITH THE REFERENCES we cited in our Policy Forum. We based our arguments on a thorough analysis of many reports and communications of all the institutions we discussed, including Oxfam’s (1). For example, a substantive 2008 Oxfam report (2) (written after prices increased) concludes that “only in a few countries are small producers benefiting from higher prices,” and emphasizes that farmers are often net consumers who face many constraints, implying that they would beneﬁ t from lower prices. Yet a 2005 Oxfam report (3) (written before prices started to rise) does not mention that small farmers and rural households are net consumers of food. These inconsistencies demonstrate our points. Kripke argues that the issue of food security is too complex to ﬁ t into a headline, but we found simplistic explanations in lengthy reports as well.
4 MAY 2012 www.sciencemag.org