Even FAO Wants To End
the Biofuels Insanity
Aug. 15, 2012 (EIRNS)— José Graziano da Silva, director general of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), is urging the United States to immediately suspend its biofuels mandates to help avert a worldwide food crisis.
Currently, 40% of the national corn harvest goes to ethanol production. But, Graziano said in an opinion piece in the Aug. 9 Financial Times, given the destruction of the corn crop by the severe drought and heat wave afflicting large swaths of the United States, maintaining that 40% mandate would dramatically reduce the amount of corn available globally for both food and animal feed. Graziano da Silva said:
"An immediate, temporary suspension of that mandate would give some respite to the market and allow more of the crop to be channeled towards food and feed uses."
While falsely claiming that the situation "is not a crisis yet," Graziano da Silva underscored that "risks are high and the wrong responses to the current situation could create it [the crisis]."
Meanwhile, inside the United States, pressure on Obama to order the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to waive the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to use less biofuel than the RFS mandates this year, and free corn for food supply and livestock uses instead of ethanol, is also building.
On Aug. 9 two Democratic governors—Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, who represent the Delmarva Peninsula, one of the leading poultry-producing centers in North America—officially petitioned the EPA for a waiver of this year's RFS. This puts the Obama Administration on the hot seat for continuing to burn food for fuel, and short exports, amidst drastic crop losses.