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US Ethanol Bill Will Further Inflate Food Prices

US - The US House of Representatives passed its energy bill that, if enacted into law, will double the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) from the current 7.5 billion gallons per year to a 15 billion gallon grain ethanol mandate.

The American Meat Institute (AMI) called the passage of the bill counter-productive, noting that it will further drive up food prices as more corn is diverted from animal feed to use as fuel.

“We support efforts to increase US energy security, but this bill takes a myopic approach by mandating grain-based ethanol increasing demand for corn even further than the record levels we’ve seen in the last 12 months,” said its President Patrick Boyle .

According to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), meat, poultry and egg spending comprise 60 percent of the average consumer’s food dollar.

However, US National Farmers Union says the bill will create economic opportunities for rural America - allowing family farms to continue to play a significant role in our country’s energy future. The NFU says it supports several of its priorities, including an expanded Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), a new Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) and extensions of renewable tax incentives such as the production tax credit (PTC) for wind.