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US may send money, not food, to countries in need

CHICAGO (Dow Jones)--U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer said Tuesday soaring food prices are creating "a huge international situation" and that the government's response requires a shift in its approach to public policy.

While global food prices have risen by about 40%, the U.S. has seen a more moderate rise in food prices of about 4%, Schafer said. The disparity is caused by factors including high costs for food transportation and fuel, he said.

The U.S. historically has sourced its food aid from U.S. farmers and shipped it to needy countries on U.S. vessels. However, President George W. Bush is calling for Congress to support an initiative to provide food aid through direct purchase of crops grown in areas of need.

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CHICAGO (Dow Jones)--U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer said Tuesday soaring food prices are creating "a huge international situation" and that the government's response requires a shift in its approach to public policy.

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