AMI calling for balanced food and fuel policy

by Editor
Thursday, June 14, 2007

AMI and a coalition of meat, livestock and poultry organisations unveiled an information Web site regarding ethanol policy.

The American Meat Institute (AMI) together with other boards created the site dedicated to informing policy-makers, the media and the public about the impact of American ethanol policy on the industry and on consumers.

The timely Web site features economic analyses, charts, third-party experts, important reading and basic facts about ethanol policy. Coalition member sponsors include the American Meat Institute, National Chicken Council, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Meat Association, National Milk Producers Federation, National Pork Producers Council, National Turkey Federation and United Egg Producers.

A national mandate for the fuel industry to utilise 7.5 billion gallons of renewable fuels each year, a $0.51 per gallon tax incentive for ethanol blenders, and a tariff on imported ethanol have all stimulated demand for ethanol and driven up the cost of corn, which is the primary feedstock for ethanol production in the United States.

But as points out, livestock and poultry producers rely on corn to feed their animals. The rising cost of corn has driven up the cost of feed and with it the cost of meat, dairy and poultry products, causing some producers to cut back production. According to the coalition, these economic shifts will affect consumer purchasing behaviour, potentially reducing animal protein consumption.

On the site, the coalition details the policies that its members believe will help balance food and fuel policy. According to AMI President J. Patrick Boyle the current ethanol policy is having enormous consequences in the food and agriculture sector.