Washington, D.C. – Growth Energy today launched a countdown clock to track the hours and days elapsed since the group called on Big Food to lower prices for consumers at the grocery store. See the countdown clock at GrowthEnergy.org. The launch of the clock follows the report last week that Thanksgiving food prices would be 5.6%, higher from last year.
“When we launched Growth Energy last week, we challenged the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) to either lower food prices for Americans during these tough economic times, or admit to the fundamentally flawed argument they've been making about biofuels,” said Jeff Broin, CEO of POET and Board Member of Growth Energy. “To date the GMA has not responded to our challenge and has only perpetuated the myths that expert after expert repudiated this past summer. Today we're letting them know that we are serious about our challenge and we're keeping track of the number of hours elapsed since we asked them to lower prices on American consumers. We're on the side of the American consumer, and we won't allow GMA members to keep making record profits while gouging grocery customers.”
Earlier this year, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) planned an attack in a leaked PR memo to distract Americans from the rising cost of groceries by mounting a deceptive campaign against American ethanol producers. Their argument claimed that biofuels production was responsible, even though expert studies showed the high price of oil was the primary factor and biofuels had only a negligible impact on food prices.
“The GMA is claiming that there is lag time before food prices reflect the lower costs of oil and corn, but there was no lag time when the GMA raised food prices. Consumers took the hit right away,” added Bruce Rastetter, CEO of Hawkeye Energy Holdings, LLC and Board Member of Growth Energy. “Raising food prices on struggling Americans is not a popular thing to do, so it's easy to see why they might claim a 'lag' or try to predict future price hikes so they can keep their costs high now. Once again, they are trying to lay the blame for their price hikes at the feet of America's ethanol producers and corn farmers.”
The cost of food has increased at the brisk clip of 7.6 percent in the past year, the worst rate in nearly twenty years, and has continued to increase while the cost of oil has dropped dramatically, and corn and other commodities have fallen in the past four months. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the price of basic foods in the United States is currently rising at twice the rate of inflation and is expected to continue to rise in the future. The price of corn has dropped more than fifty percent since the summer, and the cost of a barrel of oil is tumbling.
About Growth Energy
Growth Energy is a group committed to the promise of agriculture and growing America's economy through cleaner, greener energy. Growth Energy members recognize America needs a new ethanol approach. Through smart policy reform and a proactive grassroots campaign, Growth Energy promotes reducing greenhouse gas emissions, expanding the use of ethanol in gasoline, decreasing our dependence on foreign oil, and creating American jobs at home. More information can be found at GrowthEnergy.org.