New Special Rapporteur on Food

Farewell Jean Ziegler, whose tenure as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Food came to an end on April 30. He was an outspoken advocate of the right to food, and his denouncing of biofuels as “a crime against humanity” was every bit as forceful as it needed to be.

They’re big shoes for the next Rapporteur to fill, but I have very high hopes for Olivier De Schutter, the Belgian law professor who took up the position on May 1, and has already come out swinging against biofuels, and putting the crisis into context by observing that “we’re paying for 20 years of mistakes”.

His comments aren’t perhaps as pointed as Ziegler’s, but I can empathise – it’s probably not the wisest move to be as outspoken as one might want to be on your first day in a new job – best first to find out where the pressure points are, and then hit them hard…