Log in Subscribe Join Grass Roots Action

Limit Federal Support of Corn Ethanol: AMI Op Ed in The Oklahoman

Friday, May 13, 2011

(American Meat Institute)

AMI President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle in a guest op ed published today in The Oklahoman connects the dots between rising meat and poultry prices and rising corn prices due to federal support for corn ethanol. 

Boyle notes in the column that March’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) revealed that beef and veal prices rose 12.2 percent higher than a year ago, the largest year-over-year increase in the beef and veal CPI since September 2004.  Retail pork prices rose 11.2 percent.

“Simply put, rising demand for corn from ethanol plants has helped send corn supplies to their lowest levels in 15 years, and sent corn prices soaring in the process,” Boyle says.

He goes on to explain how this affects the price of meat and poultry in Oklahoma grocery stores.

“Corn is an important part — in some cases the largest part — of the diets of animals produced for food like chickens, turkeys, cattle and pigs. In Oklahoma, more than 128,000 jobs directly and indirectly depend on the meat and poultry industry, which is responsible for $15.2 billion in economic output in the state,” Boyle writes. 

But with corn being so expensive, he adds, farmers and ranchers are reducing the number of animals they are raising or are ceasing raising livestock altogether and as the supply of meat shrinks, the price goes up at the local grocery store.

“It's in all of our best interests to develop alternatives to gasoline as fuel for our cars. But the Obama administration and Congress need to focus on fuel sources that don't compete with our food and feed and should support proposals such as those introduced by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, that aim to limit federal support of corn ethanol,” Boyle concludes.

To read the op ed in its entirety, visit: http://newsok.com/corn-ethanol-is-burning-up-food-budgets/article/3567356.

 share on facebook  share on twitter