World Health Organization sees ‘weak evidence’ of human poisoning by endocrine disruptors in chemicals

While admitting humans are experiencing the highest incidence of disease and that thousands of dangerous chemicals are used in products people consume, a World Health Organization report says there is only weak evidence that human health has been adversely affected by the abundance of those chemicals in food and other products.

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | FEBRUARY 25, 2013

There are two facts that are undeniable when it comes to human health. First, despite great advances in science and technology, humans are sicker beings today –both mentally and physically–, when compared to half a century ago, for example. Even worse, the incidence of previously unknown or inexistant diseases has grown exponentially due to ‘inexplicable’ reasons. Second, those who were charged with verifying the safety of the production processes and the goods that are mass-produced for human consumption, failed to point out the dangers, and the side effects of thousands of substances used in the manufacture of industrial products.

The reason for the failure to properly guard human health and the environment from toxic chemicals varies, and it needs to be investigated on a case to case basis, but generally it occurred either due to lack of knowledge or because those watching out for our safety overlooked clear evidence that certain chemicals posed a direct threat to humanity and the environment. Three cases in point: DDT, fluoride in the water, mercury in vaccines, pesticides and herbicides.

In 2013, 41 years after its creation, the World Health Organization finally decided to publish a document where it expresses its concern about the adverse effects that toxic chemicals may have in humans; specifically on the human endocrine system. The document issued by the WHO titled Global Assessment of the State‐of‐the‐Science of Endocrine Disruptors, addresses what millions of people around the world, and thousands of health care practitioners have warned about for many years: chemicals put in the foods we eat, the water we drink and others used in industrial processes harm human health and gravely contaminate the environment.

Unfortunately, the report starts by playing down the role of industrial chemicals in the exponential appearance of disease among humans. The WHO cites as its final conclusion that “although it is clear that certain environmental chemicals can interfere with normal hormonal processes, there is weak evidence that human health has been adversely affected by exposure to endocrine-active chemicals.” As many other unaccountable global organizations, the WHO refused to look at independently gathered evidence that raised concerns about the poisoning of humans and the environment by the industrial process and how chemicals used in the production of food, for example, was the origin of previously unknown diseases.

It took 16 years for the WHO to accept and implement the advice provided by various health groups about the serious problem with the way food is produced as well as the way toxic chemicals are used in the production of the food we ingest. Back in 1997, the Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety and the Environment Leaders of the Eight regarding the issue of EDCs, the International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS), a joint programme of WHO, UNEP and the International Labour Organization, began preparing the report issued in 2013.

Along with its general conclusion that its panel of scientists did not find enough evidence –despite all the evidence that exists– that human health is indeed adversely affected by exposure to endocrine disruptors found in toxic chemicals, the WHO report highlights just over a dozen other warning signs that humans, animals and the environment as a whole MAY be experiencing the consequences of systematic poisoning.

After explaining that life on Earth depends on its ability to reproduce and developed normally, the WHO report explains that there is a high incidence and a growing trend of endocrine-related disorders in humans; that there are observations of endocrine-related effects in wildlife populations; and that there is enough evidence that chemicals to which everyone is exposed to have endocrine disrupting properties linked to disease outcomes in laboratory studies. Amazingly, the WHO admits that there is more evidence to suggest that toxic chemicals DO cause endocrine disruptions on animals than on humans.

Endocrine Disruption

Figure 2. Overview of the endocrine system. Obtained from WHO report “State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals”. 2013.

The report found that endocrine-related diseases and disorders are on the rise, especially on young men. It related that in some countries, up to 40% of young men show low semen quality, which translates in their inability to have children. In addition to infertility, the report calls attention to the incidence of genital malformations, adverse pregnancy outcomes, neurobehavioural disorders associated with thyroid disruption, an unexplained rise in endocrine-related cancers that include breast, endometrial, ovarian, prostate, testicular and thyroid, earlier development of the breasts in young girls and the prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes, which increased exponentially all over the world for the past 40 years.

The World Health Organization reports that some 800 chemicals are confirmed or suspected to interfere with hormone receptors, hormonal synthesis or conversion and that only a small amount of those chemicals have been properly studied to determine their negative effects on the organisms. That is to say, health watchdogs –both at the national and international levels– traditionally failed to test for the potential or demonstrated threats that toxic chemicals used in the manufacture of food products presented to humans and other forms of life. “The vast majority of chemicals in current commercial use have not been tested at all,” the study admits.

As many independent observations have previously warned, humans and all life on this planet are continuously exposed to Endocrine Disruptive Chemicals (EDC), which traditionally occurs in low but permanent levels. The WHO report confirms this fact by saying that evidence shows that humans and wildlife are exposed to more EDCs than just those found in persistent organic pollutants. The report also confirms that food and drinking water are two major contributors of human and animal poisoning, but that the list of those elements that poison us all is long.

“Children can have higher exposures to chemicals compared with adults—for example, through their hand-to-mouth activity and higher metabolic rate. The speed with which the increases in disease incidence have occurred in recent decades rules out genetic factors as the sole plausible explanation.”

Endocrine Disruption in Babies

Figure 3. Sensitive windows of development. Each tissue has a specific window during development when it is forming. Obtained from WHO report “State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals”. 2013.

The statement above is damning evidence that most, if not all supposedly genetically transmitted diseases, are not really passed on to humans by their progenitors, but by their exposure to chemicals created or used during the production of food and other products. The report goes on detailing that chemicals such as DDT, PCB’s, diethylstilbestrol (DES) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), often used in pesticides and herbicides, or for controlling insect reproduction, are to blame for breast cancer, prostate cancer, non-descended testes.

How can they then say that the evidence is weak when it comes to the relation between toxic chemicals and mass spread disease?

The assessment on endocrine disruptors clarified that much of the damage caused by toxic chemicals happens during pregnancy or early in human life. “Numerous laboratory studies support the idea that chemical exposures contribute to endocrine disorders in humans and wildlife.”

Again, where is the weak link then?

“Developmental exposures can cause changes that, while not evident as birth defects, can induce permanent changes that lead to increased incidence of diseases throughout life.

These insights from endocrine disruptor research in animals have an impact on current practice in toxicological testing and screening. Instead of solely studying effects of exposures in adulthood, the effects of exposures during sensitive windows in fetal development, perinatal life, childhood and puberty require careful scrutiny.”

The WHO report openly admits that organizations that are supposed to be vigilant about the adverse effects of poisons used in the industrial manufacture process have failed time after time to do that very task. “There has been a failure to adequately address the underlying environmental causes of trends in endocrine diseases and disorders.”

Is there room here for liability?

According to the WHO, disease risk induced by endocrine disrupting chemicals may have been significantly underestimated. That is to say, doctors and other health care practitioners who up until today follow the teachings of modern medicine as their base to diagnose disease while ignoring –sometimes purposely– the evidence presented by many studies on the adverse effects of EDC’s, are also to blame for current wave of ‘unknown’ or ‘untreatable disorders.

“We know that humans and wildlife are simultaneously exposed to many EDCs; thus, the measurement of the linkage between exposure to  mixtures of EDCs and disease or dysfunction is more physiologically relevant. In addition, it is likely that exposure to a single EDC may cause disease syndromes or multiple diseases, an area that has not been adequately studied.” Why not? Certainly nor because of lack of funding. Perhaps disinterest from the part of large pharmaceutical conglomerates who conduct their own studies with the ONLY intention to show whether a product is effective, but not to determine its safety or the long-term adverse effects on humans. The same is true for companies like Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta and others which brag about their technological discoveries even though many independent tests prove, beyond reasonable doubt that their GMO’s, herbicides and pesticides are killing people all over the world.

Despite the mounting evidence presented in its own study, the skyrocketing incidence of disease in the last 50 years and the growing trends that show how EDC’s are more and more involved in causing adverse effects on human populations, the WHO again limits the relation between EDC’s and disease as a matter of association, instead of going beyond and calling it a matter of cause and effect. The report says that human studies can show associations only. But what happens when those associations continue to appear, study after study? Doesn’t that build a clear relationship of cause and effect?

Since most main stream corporate or government financed studies do not properly test for the effects of EDC’s on humans, because they are conducted with a very low number of subjects and for a very short time, the WHO has determined that this ‘association’ does not go beyond casual results that do not offer enough evidence to pose a cause and effect relationship. This is so, because although the mounting evidence, most tests are not designed to show that cause-effect relationship, which immediately invalidates them as reliable proof or evidence that toxic chemicals have –for a long time– caused disease in people and polluted the environment.

The report correctly points out that the shift already taking place from determining associations to testing for links –cause and effect– is the way to go to show what it deems as solid evidence that toxic chemicals indeed cause disease. But the WHO still fails to recognize what many studies have determined: that the adverse effects of early and continuous exposure to toxic chemicals are only detected late in life. Those effects, as explained before, are usually misdiagnosed by most doctors, who usually tell their patients that the origin of their illness is still unknown and that there is no way to treat the causes; only the symptoms. At this point, patients are condemned to taking pharmaceutical drugs for the rest of their lives, which eventually end up killing them due to their own adverse effects.

So, the state of human health today is equally bad from two different fronts. People are either killed by long-term exposure to toxic chemicals used in the production process of food or in the food itself, or they die while trying to ‘cure’ their diseases with industrialized pharmaceuticals whose own side effects are as deadly as those from the chemicals people are trying to get rid of. Either way, people die long, painful deaths.

So what is next? What needs to be done to end this vicious circle of disease? Can long-term studies be the solution? I think it is too little too late for that. Waiting another 10 or 20 years to see the result of long-term tests is not something a lot of people can afford now. That does not mean that those studies should not be done. It means that people need to find solutions by themselves. Now that the World Health Organization has finally confessed they have not done their job to protect people from dangerous substances –quite the opposite is true–  people need to understand that their nutrition is their responsibility. It always has been so. From the part of the organizations that are supposed to keep us safe from the dangers of toxic chemicals, it is time to stop talking and start walking.

The Real Agenda encourages the sharing of its original content ONLY through the tools provided at the bottom of every article. Please DON’T copy articles from The Real Agenda and redistribute by email or post to the web.

Can Indoor Farms Feed Humanity?

Is indoor farming a healthy alternative to the mass production of Genetically Modified Organisms? Given GMO toxicity, will governments adopt indoor farming instead?

by Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
July 22, 2011

Depending who you talk to, scientists and trend forecasters believe that in 30 years time, most people will live in urban centers -so much for Arthur C. Clarke’s rural communities prediction-. Also in 30 to 40 years, food will be one of the most, if not the most valuable commodity. The one characteristic that all commodities have in common to make themselves valuable is its scarcity. Diamonds are not valuable because of how easy they can be harvested. Water does not spur conflict because of its transparent color. These two commodities are valuable because overall they are scarce or are becoming scarce.

Scarcity is a trait that diamonds and water are beginning to share with food. The reasons for this varies in different parts of the world, but my educated guess is that the main cause is food price speculation. Given this fact, does it not make sense to look for ways to guarantee food availability for all? Well, not if it is for food speculators to decide. Fortunately, each of us has the power to decide for ourselves.

The next great thing when it comes to food supply is having our own food greenhouses. Food greenhouses can vary in size, and that is one of their beauties. They can be small enough to feed an individual, a family, a small community or a whole city. But greenhouses are not the novelty here. The new great alternative -at least for me- is vertical farming, that is, having our own greenhouses where we can plant our own food in the middle of the city we live in. It is its verticality what gives this kind of farming its charm. Since more and more people decide to move to the large urban centers, and food there is usually less available than, say, the countryside, vertical farming becomes a space efficient, alternative for those who have the space in their homes or communities.

On a personal note, vertical farming is all urban humans need in order to be food independent, much like farmers are in rural areas. But a key point here is that since we have the choice -no matter what the government says- to feed ourselves with our own food, it is a great opportunity to choose healthy food. In other words, clean seeds, clean vegetables and fruit instead of GMO seeds and GMO agricultural products. Depending on what your urgency for food is and where you are located, it is urgent that you go out and scout for clean, organic seeds before they are just a thing of the past. That’s right. With a handful of companies pushing for bans on organic farming and food monopolies, it only makes sense to be food independent while we can. Here is where vertical farming comes in.

Population Growth vs Food Availability

Although many people relate food scarcity to overpopulation and say the planet is running out of food and space, research shows that at current levels, the planet could feed its whole population in an area the size of Texas. Because some researchers believe human population will grow out of control in the next decades, they estimate that there will not be enough food for everyone. However, studies done by organizations like the Population Research Institute show that the world’s population will grow to 9 billion to then stabilize and decrease to a healthy level, naturally. Studies also show that there is currently enough food to feed everyone on the planet.

So why are some researchers and politicians sounding the alarms of overpopulation and food scarcity on the wrong tones? My own research by talking to people in those two groups show that it is a combination of economics, corruption and ignorance. In fact, overpopulation has been profoundly unmasked as a lie and although food scarcity is a problem in many parts of the world, it is not a result of overpopulation, but food price speculation, food monopolies and war.

Going back to Vertical Farming, according to the Spiegel Online, urban agriculture may be a solution to feed more people, in more places in the world. “Agricultural researchers believe that building indoor farms in the middle of cities could help solve the world’s hunger problem. Experts say that vertical farming could feed up to 10 billion people and make agriculture independent of the weather and the need for land. There’s only one snag: The urban farms need huge amounts of energy.”

But despite any snags, people in countries where space is a luxury are already planning and executing vertical farming projects. In South Korea, independent researchers are already cultivating food in indoor greenhouses. “Heads of lettuce are lined up in stacked layers. At the very bottom, small seedlings are thriving while, further up, there are riper plants almost ready to be picked.”

In his book The Vertical Farm, Dr. Dickson Despommier explains how vertical farming may be the solution to world hunger with or without overpopulation.

“An entirely new approach to indoor farming must be invented, employing cutting edge technologies. The Vertical Farm must be efficient (cheap to construct and safe to operate). Vertical farms, many stories high, will be situated in the heart of the world’s urban centers. If successfully implemented, they offer the promise of urban renewal, sustainable production of a safe and varied food supply (year-round crop production), and the eventual repair of ecosystems that have been sacrificed for horizontal farming.”

How does vertical farming compare to traditional outdoor farming. Here is a list of reasons why vertical, indoor farming is an option to be food independent and plant your own fruit and vegetables regardless of whether you have a five story building available for planting or not.

Advantages of Vertical Farming (From TheVerticalFarm.com)

  • Year-round crop production; 1 indoor acre is equivalent to 4-6 outdoor acres or more, depending upon the crop (e.g., strawberries: 1 indoor acre = 30 outdoor acres)
  • No weather-related crop failures due to droughts, floods, pests
  • All VF food is grown organically: no herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers
  • VF virtually eliminates agricultural runoff by recycling black water
  • VF returns farmland to nature, restoring ecosystem functions and services
  • VF greatly reduces the incidence of many infectious diseases that are acquired at the agricultural interface
  • VF converts black and gray water into potable water by collecting the water of
    evapotranspiration
  • VF adds energy back to the grid via methane generation from composting non-edible
    parts of plants and animals
  • VF dramatically reduces fossil fuel use (no tractors, plows, shipping.)
  • VF converts abandoned urban properties into food production centers
  • VF creates sustainable environments for urban centers
  • VF creates new employment opportunities
  • We cannot go to the moon, Mars, or beyond without first learning to farm indoors on
    earth
  • VF may prove to be useful for integrating into refugee camps
  • VF offers the promise of measurable economic improvement for tropical and subtropical
    LDCs. If this should prove to be the case, then VF may be a catalyst in helping to reduce or even reverse the population growth of LDCs as they adopt urban agriculture as a strategy for sustainable food production.
  • VF could reduce the incidence of armed conflict over natural resources, such as water
    and land for agriculture

Dr. Dickson Despommier believes we are at the doors of another farming revolution. Although this new way of being food independent may not be available to everyone at an industrial level, people can take the methods and techniques and adapt them to their corner of the world. Humans had to experiment for hundreds or even thousands of years to understand how farming techniques could play to their benefit. However, growing crops is now taken for granted. Masses of land that were once used to feed ourselves before are now unused or turned into wastelands mainly because of government or corporate intervention.

That is why vertical indoor farming is such a great alternative to attain food security.

See a complete photo gallery of vertical farming prototype projects here.

Eco-Fascists Call For Prison Cities

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
January 6, 2011

People who resist the state controlling every aspect of their existence will be forced to live in squalid ghettos while the rest of the population will be tightly controlled in high-tech prison cities – that’s the future envisaged by eco-fascists who are exploiting the contrived global warming fraud to openly flaunt their plan for the total enslavement of mankind.Forum for the Future

The threat posed by the kind of scenario being promoted by Forum for the Future, the group responsible for the chilling video below, cannot be emphasized enough. The dictatorial hellhole of 2040, where cars will be banned, meat rationed, farming completely abolished and overtaken by the state, behavior catalogued on “calorie cards,” and careers ordained by the government, is the ultimate goal of the control freaks who have seized the reigns of the environmental movement.

Nearly every aspect of the policies undertaken by the global dictatorship that runs the “planned-opolis” depicted in the video are lifted wholesale from historical tyrannies.

– The state completely taking over the means of food production and farming. This is a throwback to the Soviet system of collectivized farming, where Stalin organized land and labor into large-scale collective farms. Farmers who resisted the state taking over their farms were arrested and sent to Siberian gulags. As a result of the mass seizure of property and the disruption that collective farming brought to food production, upwards of 3 million people died from starvation from 1932-33 alone. A similar system imposed in Maoist China under the “Great Leap Forward” led to the Great Chinese Famine and the starvation of at least 36 million people.

– The incarceration of resistors to green fascism inside squalid ghettos and their subsequent separation from family members is a frightening throwback to the Nazi-run Warsaw Ghetto and other concentration camps and prisons within cities that housed Jews and political dissidents during World War Two.

– The restriction or even outlawing of meat, something already being vehemently pushed by eco-fascists, to the point where a hamburger becomes a rare delicacy to be enjoyed on special occasions – and only then if you can afford it. As my wife who is Chinese will attest, up until the late 80′s before China started to lift itself out of poverty, meat was a rare treat that was sparsely available and highly restricted. Again, the “planned-opolis” is nothing less than a fusion of Communist and fascist control measures inflicted upon the population to keep them poor, starving and weak.

The people who produced this video, funded by monolithic elitist banks and corporations like Royal Dutch Shell and Bank of America as well as the British government, know very well that every aspect of their “planned-opolis” is lifted directly from the most abhorrent and brutal dictatorships in history. They are openly flaunting the neo-fascist ideology behind the green movement.

Of course, as is made clear in the video, none of these regulations or controls will apply to any of the elitists imposing them on the rest of us. Think Al Gore and his multiple oceanside mansions with heated swimming pools. They will still be able to roll around in SUV’s and fly private jets while quaffing the finest fillet steak and belching tons of CO2 as they lecture the rest of humanity about their carbon footprint. Think Prince Charles and his insistence that the proles not be allowed to take baths as he lounges in the luxuriant splendor of royal palaces.

They are also engaged in a ploy to shift the parameters of the Overton Window – which is defined as “A range of policies considered to be politically acceptable in the current climate of public opinion.” By constantly bombarding us with extreme and repugnant proposals, they gradually wear down the human psyche until people begin to accept draconian controls over their personal life as normal, necessary and reasonable.

This is part of the reason behind last year’s “splattergate” controversy, where global warming alarmists – again funded by government and big business – produced an infomercial in which children who refused to lower their carbon emissions were slaughtered in an orgy of blood and guts.

This is a psychological attack and a realization of the stepping stone method to tyranny. Whereas we might not accept cars being banned and meat being rationed now, we will accept incandescent light bulbs being outlawed and paying carbon taxes on fuel. As each hurdle is cleared, the globalists propose something more extreme so that we will always come to a compromise and accept a slighter lesser tyranny, but in the long term, the elitists achieve all of their goals with aplomb.

And to top it all off, the debate between the “liberals” over at the Guardian website in response to this story did not revolve around a castigation of this authoritarian future hell, but a question of whether old people should merely be advised by government workers how to kill themselves when they reach 65, or whether the state should just kill them directly.

This kind of despotic destiny is not only being pushed by the elite, it has an army of greenwashed zombies behind it who have been recruited to make the democide of the elderly (the useless eaters) an intellectually acceptable and reasonable idea. Presumably, the disabled and the mentally ill will also be exterminated in the pursuit of a highly efficient “planned-opolis,” another idea of which Hitler would have vehemently approved.

Once government is given the power to kill anyone they deem to be unproductive in this collectivist Orwellian nightmare, the gates of hell are thrown wide open. In comparison, meat rationing, carbon taxes, eco-surveillance, calorie credits and transport restriction will seem like a walk in the park.

Alex Jones’ seminal film Endgame, released in 2007, warned precisely of the kind of hi-tech slave grids being implemented that are now routinely proposed by top eco-fascist organizations. We urge you to warn everyone you know about this agenda and to stand up in unison to resist the first great assault on human liberty of the 21st century, which is now certain to be inflicted on us under the guise of saving mother earth. We either stop this now, or we end up in the eco-ghettos that our masters have readied for us in their “planned-opolis” of 2040.

World Food Prices Rise to Record on Sugar, Meat Costs

Bloomberg

World food prices rose to a record in December on higher sugar, grain and oilseed costs, the United Nations said, exceeding levels reached in 2008 that sparked deadly riots from Haiti to Egypt.Sugar Cane

An index of 55 food commodities tracked by the Food and Agriculture Organization gained for a sixth month to 214.7 points, above the previous all-time high of 213.5 in June 2008, the Rome-based UN agency said in a monthly report. The gauges for sugar and meat prices advanced to records.

Sugar climbed for a third year in a row in 2010, and corn jumped the most in four years in Chicago. Food prices may rise more unless the world grain crop increases “significantly” in 2011, the FAO said Nov. 17. At least 13 people died last year in Mozambique in protests against plans to lift bread prices.

“There is still, unfortunately, the potential for grain prices to strengthen on the back of a lot of uncertainty,” Abdolreza Abbassian, senior economist at the FAO, said by phone from Rome today. “If anything goes wrong with the South American crop, there is plenty of room for them to increase.”

White, or refined, sugar traded at $752.70 a metric ton at 11:53 a.m. on NYSE Liffe in London, compared with $383.70 at the end of June 2008. Corn, which added 52 percent last year on the Chicago Board of Trade, was at $6.01 a bushel, down from $7.57 in June 2008. Soybeans were at $13.6325 a bushel, against $15.74 at the close of June 2008.

Demand From China

The cost of food climbed 25 percent from a year earlier in December, based on the FAO figures, after Chinese demand strengthened and Russia’s worst drought in a half-century devastated grain crops. The agency’s food-price indicator rose from 206 points in November.

Last month’s year-on-year rise compares with the 43 percent jump in food costs in June 2008. Record fuel prices, weather- related crop problems, increasing demand from the growing Indian and Chinese middle classes, and the push to grow corn for ethanol fuel all contributed to the crisis that year.

“In 2008 we had rapid increases in petroleum prices, fertilizer prices and other inputs,” Abbassian said. “So far, those increases have been rather constrained. It doesn’t really reduce the fear about what could be in store in the coming weeks or months.”

New York-traded crude was last at $88.44 a barrel, compared with $140 at the end of June 2008. Bulk urea pellets, used in fertilizer as a source of nitrogen, were at $320 a ton in the last week of December, against $460 in June 2008.

9.1 Billion People

Global food production will have to rise 70 percent by 2050 as the world population expands to 9.1 billion people from about 6.8 billion people in 2010, the FAO has said.

In response to the 2008 crisis, countries from India and Egypt to Vietnam and Indonesia banned exports of rice, a staple for half the world. Skyrocketing food prices sparked protests and riots in almost three dozen poor nations including Haiti, Somalia, Burkina Faso and Cameroon.

Sugar and oilseeds have a disproportionate effect on the FAO’s food index because it’s based on trade values for commodities, Abbassian said. The price of staples including rice is lower than in 2008, he said. Rough rice last traded at $13.90 per 100 pounds in Chicago, compared with $20.21 at the end of June 2008.

“If you want to see the index as a barometer of food crisis, I’m not so sure this is the right thing to do,” Abbassian said. “In the previous episode, really the main driver in food commodities was cereals. This time around, look at sugar and oilseeds.”

Grain Inventories

Compared with 2007-2008, many poor countries had “good or above-average” cereal harvests last year, the economist said. Production problems took place in grain-exporting countries, and “supply at hand should be adequate,” he said.

The FAO’s gauge for sugar prices reached 398.4 points last month, increasing from 373.4 in November. The meat-price index rose to 142.2 points from 141.5.

The agency’s cereal-price index jumped to 237.6 points in December, the highest level since August 2008, from 223.3 the previous month. The indicator for cooking oils advanced to 263 points, the highest since July 2008, from 243.3. The index for dairy prices rose to 208.4 points from 207.8.

Global grain output will have to rise at least 2 percent this year to meet demand in 2011-2012 and avoid further depletion of stocks, the UN agency has said.

The basis for the FAO index is 2002-04. The gauge includes commodity quotations that the agency considers representative for international food prices.

“The real uncertainty and problem is the 2011-2012 market,” Abbassian said. “We are at a very high level. If it’s further up than this, then you really begin to be concerned.”