January 27th, 2010
09:30 PM ET
5 years ago

CNN Fact Check: Are U.S. food policies partially responsible for Haiti's poverty?

(CNN) – The Rev. Jesse Jackson says U.S policies are partially responsible for Haiti's economic problems.

In a CNN "Newsroom" interview with Ali Velshi, Jackson declared: "Our agricultural policy... allowed the Riceland Rice company to drop rice on Haiti, drive Haiti farmers out of business, and then raise the price of rice and have rice riots."

Jackson's comments echo a 2005 report by the international relief agency Oxfam International, which said U.S. policies hurt Haitian farmers and helped Arkansas-based Riceland Foods, the world's largest miller and marketer of rice.

"Riceland's profits jumped by $123 million from 2002 to 2003, thanks in large part to a 50 per cent increase in exports, primarily to Haiti and Cuba," the report said.

CNN was unable to obtain any immediate response from Riceland Foods, which has said publicly that its sales to Haiti have declined over the years, but a CNN Fact Check suggests that U.S. policies have indeed played a role in Haiti's problems.

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