New website urges ethanol policy review

By George Reynolds

- Last updated on GMT

A food industry coalition has launched a website designed to
provide information on the impact of the US policy on ethanol
of processors and consumers.

The website, backed by the American Meat Institute (AMI) among others, describes the current ethanol policy, which includes tax incentives, as a "raw deal" for the food industry and consumers. "A more rational policy, however, can help avert the coming economic crisis,"​ the site says as part of the industry's effort to lobby politicians and get the public behind them. With the price of crude oil rising and an increase in demand for greener fuel, the production of ethanol is rapidly expanding. The principle ingredient is corn, and although farmers are planting more of the crop demand for ethanol production continues to put pressure on supplies and prices. The growing demand has resulted in supplies destined for food and feed to fall, pushing the price of available stocks up. Corn price rises have also had a knock-on effect to livestock farmers, which has translated into higher costs for processors who buy meat and corn. Economic analyses, as well as charts, third-party expert opinions, and further information about ethanol policy are available on the website. The coalition argues that food and fuel policy can be balanced by through federal funding of broad-based applied research into renewable energy technologies, economics, and by product safety, quality, and usability. Coalition members want biofuel ingredients to be limited to those that do not adversely affect animal feed supplies, such as cellulosic and methane. Furthmore, it says that subsidies and tax credits for agriculture-based energy sources should be equally available among all forms of energy. Fuel-based tax credits should function inversely to oil prices, it said. Infrastructure incentives in the form of subsidies and tax incentives should be source and feed stock and renewable energy neutral, according to the coalition. Policy-makers should provide producers regulatory and legislative policy options to opt out of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) to respond to market forces, the coalition said. The coalition is calling for more acres of farmland to be dedicated to food and feed crop production. They also call for the ending of the current ethanol tariff, which expires in December 2008, so that other alternative fuel sources can compete on the market. Patrick Boyle, AMI president, said the coalition hopes the site will provide a valuable resource of information on the issue. "Our ethanol policy is having enormous consequences in the food and agriculture sector, and we believe that informed policy-makers can make better decisions to balance food and energy needs,"​ he said. The coalition's members include the American Meat Institute, the National Chicken Council, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, the National Meat Association, the National Milk Producers Federation, the National Pork Producers Council, the National Turkey Federation and United Egg Producers.

Related topics Processing equipment

Related news

Related products

Efficient Freezing & Storage of Biopharmaceuticals

Efficient Freezing & Storage of Biopharmaceuticals

Content provided by Single Use Support | 06-Nov-2023 | White Paper

Various options exist for freezing biopharmaceutical bulk material, but selecting the most effective and efficient approach for each cold chain can be...

State-of-the-Art Virtual Pharma Factory Tour

State-of-the-Art Virtual Pharma Factory Tour

Content provided by METTLER TOLEDO | 09-Jun-2023 | Event Programme

Join METTLER TOLEDO’s weighing experts on a virtual tour of a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. On the call, you'll be digitally transported...