December 16, 2008

Op ed: Debunking myths of corn, ethanol

David Gibson, executive director of the Texas Corn Producers Board, wrote an op ed that discusses the corn, ethanol and food prices "discussion" that took up a chunk of the last year. To view the commentary, click here.

Gibson, whose group helped put together, made many good points - including that food prices went up with oil/energy costs but have not come down as these costs dropped. He also noted that the Grocery Gang's campaign to place the blame for its price increases on corn and ethanol was simply off base.

Here is his conclusion:

There is no way that our country can achieve its goal of energy independence without increasing ethanol production. The low price being paid for corn is bad news for farmers, some of whom will not be able to cover their production costs. But it proves we have enough corn for food and for ethanol to reduce foreign oil imports. Now we just have to wait for the big food manufacturers to give consumers a break at the grocery checkout line instead of pocketing larger profits.

Interestingly enough, a new set of consumer price figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics came out this week. It noted that food prices increased 0.2 percent in November - the smallest increase this year. (Gas dropped another 29.5 percent in November.) The report noted that the index for meat, poultry, fish and eggs turned down in November - for the first time since February - falling 0.7 percent.

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