Pro-Ethanol Group Defends Biofuels

Growth Energy, a new pro-ethanol group has rejected allegations by an anti-poverty group blaming biofuels for high food prices and world hunger in developing countries.

Jin Chon, a spokesman for Growth Energy, said in a statement that food prices continue to rise even as the price of commodities like corn have fallen by 50 percent, proving that ethanol production has little impact on the global food crisis.

According to government data, American growers are growing enough crops for food and fuel, Chon said, adding that USDA estimates exports of U.S. corn during the current market year at 2.25 billion bushels, or 130 million bushels larger than exports during the 2006-07 market year and the largest in 18 years.

Chon was reacting to a report by ActionAid arguing that U.S. and European policies supporting biofuels production were undermining efforts to feed the world’s hungry, including the poorest women mentioned in an anti-poverty study.

The report by ActionAid, an international aid agency that fights poverty in developing countries, also asked U.S. President-elect Barack Obama to suspend ethanol fuel targets and develop an alternative energy policy.

Growth Energy’s Chon said using biofuels as a scapegoat for the global food crisis misses the mark in finding true solutions to help people in need.

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