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The most serious shock to global food security in the past 35 years occurred in early 2008, when rice prices more than trebled in the space of four months. Panicked hoarding on the part of governments, farmers, traders, and consumers sparked a fire in the world rice market. Quick action by the United States—urging Japan to sell its WTO stockpile of rice to countries desperate to import, especially the Philippines—quickly doused the flames.

Unfortunately, a similar situation is emerging again in the world rice market and again the Philippines are fueling the run-up in rice prices with very aggressive buying techniques.