Biofuels: Another Good Reason to Hate American Policy


By Stephen Leahy

Jan 25 (IPS) – U.S. biofuels production is driving up food prices around the world, giving billions of poor people a very good reason to hate U.S. policy, say environmentalists.

“The U.S. has led the fight to stem global hunger, now we are creating hunger,” said Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute, an environmental think tank in Washington.

The booming U.S. ethanol industry is diverting enormous amounts food into fuel: 81 million tonnes of grain in 2007 and 114 million tonnes this year, equaling 28 percent of the entire U.S. grain harvest, Brown told IPS.

Previous eras of high grain prices were mainly the result of bad weather, but these price hikes are the result of government policy, he said.”Grain prices are at record or near-record highs and they will go higher,” he said. “We might be the first society in history to use public tax dollars to drive up its own food prices.” Continue reading