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The connection between rising food prices and federal support for corn-based ethanol is explained in a new website, http://www.cornforfoodnotfuel.com, launched today by organizations whose members produce and process the majority of meat and poultry in the United States.
Food prices are up -- meat and poultry specifically up 8.5 percent from a year ago -- and many consumers are asking why. The new website suggests that the government's federal subsidies for corn-based ethanol are key contributors.
About 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop is now devoted to ethanol production, because nearly all ethanol produced in this country is derived from corn. Corn prices have roughly tripled since the government in 2006 mandated ethanol be blended into gasoline, and the Consumer Price Index for meat and poultry has risen steadily with it.
The new website outlines for consumers how these rising corn prices have contributed to increased meat and poultry costs at the grocery store and asks them for their help in ending federal support of the corn-based ethanol industry, by signing a petition that states: "Federal energy policies need to move beyond corn-based ethanol and look for the next generation of alternative fuels that don't pit food, feed and fuel needs against each other."
The site is sponsored by the American Meat Institute, National Chicken Council, National Meat Association and National Turkey Federation.