UN director presses US to cut biofuel output

Aug 10, 2012
A warning label is posted on an E85 Ethanol pump handle at a gas station on August 7 in Johnston, Iowa. The head of the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization urged the United States to halt its biofuel output to prevent a food crisis, in an editorial published by the Financial Times on Friday.

The head of the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization urged the United States to halt its biofuel output to prevent a food crisis, in an editorial published by the Financial Times on Friday.

"An immediate, temporary suspension" of a mandate to reserve some crops for biofuels "would give some respite to the market and allow more of the (corn) crop to be channelled towards food and feed uses," Jose Graziano da Silva wrote.

A severe drought in the United States has cut likely to the lowest level in six years, the US Department of Agriculture reported on Friday.

A USDA report released on Monday estimated that only 23 percent of are in good to excellent condition.

"Against that backdrop, cereal prices have shot up, with an increase in (corn) prices of almost 40 percent since June 1," strategists at the CM-CIC brokerage said.

According to the US , the country has just sweltered through its hottest July on record, with drought affecting 63 percent of its continental territory.

Biofuels have been repeatedly identified as a factor in rising prices for vegetable oils, corn, soja and cereals.

Explore further: First of four Fukushima reactors cleared of nuclear fuel

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

US 'extreme drought' zones triple in size

Jul 27, 2012

The drought in America's breadbasket is intensifying at an unprecedented rate, experts warned, driving concern food prices could soar if crops in the world's key producer are decimated.

Parched fields as drought devastates US crops

Aug 01, 2012

The sweat pours down Larry Hasheider's face as he walks across his parched cornfields to show the result of one of the worst droughts to strike the United States in decades.

Corn, grain prices push to record highs

Jul 25, 2012

(Phys.org) -- The future of corn prices and the impact on fed livestock continues to be an unfolding, tumultuous situation, but some degree of clarity should be coming to the story in the next few weeks, according ...

Recommended for you

The state of shale

Dec 19, 2014

University of Pittsburgh researchers have shared their findings from three studies related to shale gas in a recent special issue of the journal Energy Technology, edited by Götz Veser, the Nickolas A. DeCecco Professor of Che ...

Website shines light on renewable energy resources

Dec 18, 2014

A team from the University of Arizona and eight southwestern electric utility companies have built a pioneering web portal that provides insight into renewable energy sources and how they contribute to the ...

Better software cuts computer energy use

Dec 18, 2014

An EU research project is developing tools to help software engineers create energy-efficient code, which could reduce electricity consumption at data centres by up to 50% and improve battery life in smart ...

User comments : 4

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

dschlink
5 / 5 (1) Aug 10, 2012
Rising corn prices have already shuttered many ethanol plants. I doubt very much that the EPA will pay any attention. These are the people that are fining companies for not using cellulose-based ethanol, despite the simple fact that there are no commercial manufacturers of the product.
SatanLover
Aug 10, 2012
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
jerryd
1 / 5 (1) Aug 10, 2012

US ehanol doesn't effect food production because most of the 'food is still there after ethanol is made. The dried mash is actually a better quality human or animal feed and the corn oil is still there, so it doesn't cut food supplies.

Plus both yield and acrage have increased so much more food is available even with the ethanol being made.

We already feed far more than anyone else. Other countries need to get their act together to increase their own supplies of food and biofuels hey'll need in the future.

The real rise in food costs is more meat which needs 3-10lbs of grain/lb of beef, chickens, pigs that is using up all the food. So let's put the blame where it really belongs, on meat, not ethanol.

If not for animal feed we could likely feed 25% of the world.

I say this as an advid meat eater and EV driver.

DavidW
1 / 5 (3) Aug 11, 2012
http://www.youtub...=related

That about settles that,,, except many enjoy their part in needlessly murdering.
Argiod
1 / 5 (2) Aug 20, 2012
Too many humans for old Mother Earth to sustain. Finite resources cannot sustain infinite population growth. Famine is the natural outcome of overpopulation. We've seen it before in ancient sites that were once huge communities and are now nothing but ruins. At this rate, the United States will be a vast desert with the ruins of our once-great society. Future archaeologists and anthropologists will have lots to ponder when trying to figure out our civilization... I just wonder: how many public toilets will be deemed to have been some sort of altars to worship fertility gods...? Or how they will contrive to say that we sacrificed humans, and possibly babies, to our 'barbaric gods'...

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.