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Ban Ethanol, Cut Food Prices 10-20%, Says Ag Institute

May 14, 2008 (EIRNS)—The following press release was issued today by the Lyndon LaRouche Political Action Committee.

"Biofuels and Grain Prices," a report of May 7 by the International Food Policy Research Institute, forecasts large drops in the hyperinflated prices of grains if biofuels production is eliminated immediately. The IFPRI report was cited by former USAID chief Andrew Natsios in his testimony to the House Financial Services Committee today, where he called for a strategy of doubling food production, though over decades.

IFPRI says that world grains prices rose an average of 40% during 2007 (and much more since the beginning of 2008), and that at least one-quarter of that rise was due to biofuels diversion of land and grains.

If the swindle of subsidized biofuels production were eliminated now, they estimate the impact would: 20% drop in corn maize prices, an 8%-10% drop in the price of wheat, 11% in sugar, 14% in cassava, and 1% in oils prices.

"In the short run, removal of ethanol blending mandates and subsidies and ethanol import tariffs in the United States — together with removal of policies in Europe promoting biofuels — would contribute to lower food prices," the Institute concludes. But more critical, in the longer run, to increase funding of agricultural research and productivity, and invest in infrastructure in underdeveloped countries, the United States, in particular, has to increase funding to the institutes of the Green Revolution.