UK Report Concludes That Biofuels Had Minimal Impact on Increased Food Prices

WASHINGTON DC– A new report, commissioned by the UK Government, found that biofuels were not to blame for the so-called food crisis of 2007 to 2008. For more than a year, Growth Energy, the coalition of U.S. ethanol supporters, has countered grocery industry groups and others who tried to blame ethanol and farm prices for higher food prices. Today, Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, said this report again refutes Big Food’s claim that ethanol led to high food prices. The report can be found here.

“The report released by the UK Government confirms what we’ve known for some time – the impact of ethanol production on food prices is minimal and other factors, including increased oil prices, were the main drivers in the rise of food prices,” said Buis. “This was a deliberate and well financed-campaign of misinformation that was not supported by facts.”

The 2008 rise in food prices coincided with increased ethanol production, causing critics of ethanol to blame the industry for the spike. The UK report, “The role of demand for biofuel in the agricultural commodity price spikes of 2007/08”, determined that the true cause of the food crisis was speculation in the wheat market caused by ongoing drought which drove up grains prices. A simultaneous spike in crude oil prices played a significant role in driving agricultural costs up, putting upward price pressure on all commodities and making the food crisis a global phenomenon.

The report also criticized previous studies which have found a large biofuels impact across agricultural commodities saying that such analyses “considered too few variables, relied on statistical associations or made unrealistic or inconsistent assumptions.”

“The evidence presented in this report shines the light of truth on the whole food-versus-fuel fiction that ethanol critics were championing,” Buis said. “The UK report proves what we have been saying all along: ethanol has the ability to create jobs, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and make America more energy independent, all without increasing farm prices or grocery bills.”


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