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Impact of Ethanol of Food Prices Exaggerated

28 August 2012

EU - The European Renewable Ethanol Association has rejected claims that ethanol production is driving up food prices.

According to the association - ePure - , "the role of ethanol in food price increases is massively exaggerated.

The association said it wanted to set the record straight at a time when biofuels production is being blamed for aggravating rising commodity prices linked to a massive drought in the US Midwest that has affected much of the US corn crop.

Careful analysis of agriculture and commodities markets reveals a very complex situation that is not easily described by a simple food v. fuel narrative, ePure said.

"Quite often key facts are ignored in the debate, which only serves to damage public confidence in those biofuels that are produced sustainably and responsibly, such as European ethanol," said ePure.

The association added that biofuels production has much more positive effects on the food sector and global agriculture production than negative ones, with raising farm income and improving investment in the farm sector some of the many benefits as well as the production of important animal feed co-products.

"Global grain use for biofuels is miniscule and nowhere near enough to inflate prices significantly," said Rob Vierhout, secretary general of ePure.

"Singling out biofuels for blame for rising food prices is simply reckless and only serves to damage public confidence in good biofuels.

"Europe has enough grain to produce both its food and fuel needs.

"Blaming biofuels is the lazy option - if policy makers are serious about addressing food price volatility, then they must tackle the fundamental causes of food price inflation such as volatile oil prices, unchecked financial speculation in food commodities markets and rising levels of food waste.

"It is truly unbelievable that, while critics continue to blame biofuels for creating a food crisis, last year in Europe, we wasted 50 per cent of our food," Mr Vierhout added.

TheCropSite News Desk

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