"How can we remain silent before the fact that food has become the object of speculation and is tied to the movements of financial markets which, lacking clear rules and moral principles, seem fixated on the single objective of profit?" Benedict said in an address to delegates from the Rome-based United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation on Friday,
"Nourishment is a factor which touches on the fundamental right to life", he added.
The pontiff urged an international response from institutions like FAO and and global nations to tackle the problem of near-record food prices in recent years.
"Food security is an authentically human requirement", Benedict went on. "Guaranteeing it for present and future generations also means safeguarding ourselves against the uncontrolled exploitation of natural resources. Indeed, the process of consumption and waste seems to overlook any concern for ... biodiversity, which is so important for agriculture".
FAO last week elected a new director general, Brazil's former food security minister Jose Graziano da Silva.