U.N. Spreading Misinformation About Biofuels

Ethanol Industry Invites da Silva to U.S. to view firsthand American Biofuels Industry

WASHINGTON, DC Following the audacious call from the United Nations (U.N.) to alter America’s successful biofuels policy by cutting ethanol production, Tom Buis CEO of Growth Energy released the following statement:

“The U.N. is propagating misinformation and basing their calls to change American agriculture and energy policy on misinformation that in the end will only benefit Big Oil and Big Food. The U.S. is not using 40 percent of its corn crop for biofuels. First, the 40 percent figure cited is the gross amount of corn purchased by the ethanol industry, which not only produces ethanol from the corn, but also produces a co-product, distillers grains, that is a high value, less expensive livestock and poultry feed. The only thing we use from the kernel of corn to produce ethanol is the starch. All of the protein, fiber, and oil end up in the distillers grains. Thus, the net amount of corn used by our biorefineries is 16 percent as we replace both corn and soybean acreage.

“Before calling for such bold policy changes, Mr. Graziano da Silva, director-general of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the U.N. should make sure his facts are correct before telling America how best to use their agricultural and energy resources.

“Despite having the worst weather in the last 50 years, the United States farmers will still produce the eighth largest corn crop in history. Recent USDA projections demonstrate the market is working and the Renewable Fuel Standard contains all the flexibility necessary to address a short crop without further policy changes. Furthermore, the high commodity prices are not a resort of corn ethanol, but Mother Nature.

“To suggest an immediate suspension of America’s Renewable Fuel Standard would simply be doing the bidding of Big Oil and Big Food. Even the food companies have said that corn is only a very minor cost of production and that high oil prices are the real driver of increased food costs. Higher oil and energy costs have far more impact on America’s grain and food exports, and I would think that would be of utmost concern to you as the U.N. seek to have a world without hunger. Farmers in the U.S. receive less than 15 percent of the amount consumers spend on food, while energy, processing, marketing and distribution account for 85 percent of the cost of food.

“The United States is committed to producing as much food as possible to end world hunger, and the new demand for corn from biofuel production has resulted in economically sustainable prices for farmers who have responded by planting more acres using new technology and farming practices to increase production. Without a sustainable economic return, farmers will not continue producing increased amounts of corn or any other agriculture commodity, which would only exacerbate world hunger.

“Furthermore, the statement from Mr. da Silva raised concerns about higher prices for cereal and feed grains, as well as sugar. If the price of sugar is increasing food prices has the U.N or will the U.N. request that countries such as Brazil and others suspend their biofuels programs? There seems to be some inequity in the demand that the U.S. alone suspends production of home grown energy.

“Growth Energy and its members share Mr. da Silva’s concern about world hunger and think the most effective way to ensure that people across the globe have affordable food is to have farmers earning a fair price for their crops, so that corn and other commodities can create jobs and opportunities across the world.”

In addition, Growth Energy sent a letter to Mr. Graziano da Silva outlining the real facts behind corn use and ethanol production as well as an open invitation to come visit the United States to see firsthand how we are reducing our dependence on foreign oil, creating jobs, improving our environment, revitalizing our rural economies and saving consumers money at the pump. To view the letter, click HERE.

# # #

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.