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    Trade Groups Sound Off on Historically High Food Inflation Numbers

    Association heads responded forcefully to the spiking CPI, which is inflated in large part by U.S. food-to-fuel policies driving commodity prices to record highs.

    On the heels of the news of the Consumer Price Index's highest jump in 26 years, brought on by food inflation rising more than twice the rate of core inflation, executives at the nation's leading meat and poultry trade associations are pleading with Congress to control ethanol policies which they say are responsible for driving up food costs.

    "The price for beef, pork and dairy products has risen dramatically over the past few months," said Patrick Boyle, American Meat Institute's president and c.e.o., noting that the CPI for beef has risen 1.7 percent, pork by 0.6 percent and dairy by 1.6 percent. "These new data don't even fully account for the damage to animal feed corn caused by the recent Midwest flooding, so we can expect prices to get even worse in the coming months. Thanks in part to U.S. food-to-fuel mandates diverting over one-third of American corn to ethanol production, the stores of grain in this country are at historic lows.   Congress has held many hearings on this topic, and now action is required to fix America's food-to-fuel policies."

    Joel Brandenberger, president of the National Turkey Federation, said: "The consumer price data released today again confirm what we have been seeing for months - higher prices for American families thanks to our misguided food-to-fuel policies. The dramatic diversion of corn to our nation's gas tanks has led to exponentially higher feed costs for America's turkey growers and processors, putting businesses at risk and ultimately harming consumers."

    Richard Lobb, National Chicken Council spokesman, said: "At a time of economic stress, it is incredible that the U.S. government should be contributing to food price inflation, but that is exactly what it is doing through the misguided food-to-fuel ethanol program."

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