Livestock and poultry groups propagating myths and capitalizing on drought to push misguided agenda

WASHINGTON, DC —Led by the National Turkey Federation, a coalition of livestock, dairy, meat and pork groups is planning a staff briefing for both House and Senate staff members to propagate the myth that ethanol production is contributing to rising food costs.

“While farmers across the country are dealing with a severe drought, the livestock lobby is spreading misinformation and taking advantage of this crisis by playing on people’s fears during a time of economic turmoil,” stated Tom Buis CEO of Growth Energy. “This is nothing more than an orchestrated attempt to place blame on American Ethanol producers for rising food prices. Time and again, studies have shown that ethanol production has a minimal impact on the cost of food, but it seems they believe that if they spread the same misinformation over and over again, it will magically become true. Apparently they operate on the theory of, ‘if at first you don’t succeed try, try again.’”

“The reality of the situation is the recent rise in commodity prices is a result of Mother Nature and a lack of rain,” Buis continued. Additionally, the cost of energy plays a substantial role in food prices. Factors related to energy, and in particular, oil prices, such as the transportation, storage, processing and packaging of goods are the true culprits of rising food costs. Additionally, marketing expenses add to the rising costs of food. For every dollar spent at the grocery store, $.84 cents can be attributed to marketing, with a mere $.03 cents representing the corn value.

Recently, USDA Secretary Vilsack went on the record saying, “What really drives food prices more significantly are energy costs…” Vilsack went on to stress the importance of ethanol production commenting, “That’s why it’s important for us to continue to focus on the President’s ‘all of the above’ approach to produce more energy in the United States.”

“What these groups are conveniently ignoring is that in 2011 ethanol production used only 3 percent of the global grain supply,” Buis added.

“Another unfortunate aspect resulting from a drought is rampant speculation and price gouging. I commend Secretary Vilsack for publicly warning companies not to engaged in this and urge Congress to hold those accountable who manipulate this crisis to line their own pockets.”

“Ethanol is low carbon fuel that burns cleaner and is better for our environment. Furthermore, ethanol production reduces our dependence on foreign oil and fosters economic growth by creating and supporting good paying jobs that cannot be outsourced, while saving consumers money at the pump. Ethanol is good for American farmers and consumers as well as our nation’s economy and energy security,” Buis concluded.

To learn more, please review our Issue Brief or visit our website at www.growthenergy.org

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About Growth Energy
Growth Energy represents the producers and supporters of ethanol who feed the world and fuel America in ways that achieve energy independence, improve economic well-being and create a healthier environment for all Americans now.

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