Written Testimony of Thomas Elam, President, FarmEcon LLC
Comment of the Day

May 05 2011

Commentary by David Fuller

Written Testimony of Thomas Elam, President, FarmEcon LLC

My thanks to a subscriber for this very informative testimony on the disastrous US policy of using foods for biofuels. Here is the opening:
Chairwoman Boxer, Ranking Member Inhofe and members of the committee, I thank you for the opportunity to submit this written testimony. I am an agricultural consultant based in Carmel, Ind. My professional experience spans 38 years and includes service to the University of Illinois, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service, the Elanco agricultural division of Eli Lilly, and eight years of professional agricultural consulting. I have studied and written extensively on the subject of biofuels policy and grain prices. I would like to offer an expert opinion on the impact of U.S. biofuels policy on food production costs, the U.S. economy, and U.S. energy and food security.

In summary, U.S. ethanol policy has drained the world's grain reserves, added little, if any real value to the U.S. economy, and has significantly raised the cost of U.S. and global food production. The current biofuels policy made the United States no more energy secure, but has substantially reduced food security. Effects of U.S. ethanol policy have occurred at a time when the global grain supply and demand balance was already leading to higher grain prices, and has added to higher food costs and prices.

David Fuller's view Using foods for the production of biofuels has to be one of the most short-sighted US economic policies in recent decades.

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