Speaking at an international development committee in the House of Commons, Lib Dem MP Lynne Featherstone, also a member of the influential environmental audit select committee, said: “Given the current state of biofuel technology, foodstuffs are being diverted from human consumption to produce biofuel.
“It seems that we are busily signing the UK up to the European targets on biofuels without considering the disastrous consequences that those targets might have in driving up food prices.”
In June the price of corn in Mexico rose by 400% because of the demand in the USA for the crop to produce bioethanol.
Increasing numbers of scientists and politicians are questioning the ability of biofuels to provide a lower carbon alternative to petrol or diesel.
A number of MPs have signed an early day motion which noted that the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership had admitted that proposed biofuel sustainability or carbon savings certification will not account for the multiple displaced effects of diverting land from food production.
Problems they say include higher food prices, deforestation, human and wildlife displacement and major land-use change.