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 Bush: Ethanol Not To Blame for Food Prices
Posted by justin on May 02, 2008
General Interest
Bush: Ethanol Not To Blame for Food Prices

By Jeanne Bernick, Farm Journal Crops and Issues Editor

While some antihunger activists point to the biofuels industry as exacerbating world hunger by diverting crop needs, President Bush said Tuesday he believes corn-based ethanol is responsible for only a small part of rising food prices. Weather, increased food demand and energy prices are the key drivers of current global food inflation, according to President Bush’s remarks during a press conference in the White House Rose Garden.

“And the truth of the matter is, it's in our national interests that our farmers grow energy, as opposed to us purchasing energy from parts of the world that are unstable or may not like us,” President Bush told reporters.
Bush said high crop prices should not slow biofuel efforts and that the high price of gasoline is going to spur more investment in ethanol as an alternative to gasoline.

National Corn Growers Association President Ron Litterer said corn growers are gratified by President George W. Bush statements that corn ethanol is not the culprit for rising food prices.

“Corn growers have been providing a solution to our nation’s energy problems by producing corn for ethanol use, in addition to our other markets,” said Litterer, a grower from Greene, Iowa. “It is gratifying our nation’s chief executive acknowledge the reasons behind rising food prices.”

Corn growers have been the target of attacks in recent weeks that attempt to shift the blame to ethanol on rising food prices. “The price of a barrel of oil speaks volumes,” Litterer added. “Those who point the finger at farmers are ignoring the real problem--$120-a-barrel oil.”

Meanwhile, The World Bank and United Nations (U.N.) on Tuesday pledged to set up a task force to tackle rising global food prices. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the international community to provide the World Food Program with $755 million in emergency funds to ease pressure on food aid providers.

“In terms of the international food price situation, we are deeply concerned about food prices here at home and we're deeply concerned about people who don't have food abroad,” said President Bush. “Last year, we were very generous in our food donations, and this year we'll be generous as well.”
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