Follow the green dot

Posted: May 8, 2008 in 1

What was discussed back in 2007

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“In 2000, about 6% of U.S corn production went into ethanol. In 2005, this had jumped up to 14% of the corn crop for biofuels. In 2006, 20% was converted into motor ethanol, the same percentage of production that typically has gone into U.S. corn exports in recent years.

For 2007, the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture projection is that 27% of U.S. corn production will go to ethanol, and corn exports will decline to 19%. But this is just early June, and the bounty of the harvest is far from certain. Given that the United States has accounted for some 40% of all corn traded worldwide, any decrease in U.S. corn for food or livestock feed automatically constitutes a major grain supply problem internationally.”

[…]

These biofuels-induced shifts in agriculture occur at a time of record low food reserves. The May 11 USDA report projected that worldwide grain stocks of all kinds (wheat, rice, corn) at the end of the 2007/2008 crop year will fall to 305.08 million metric tons (mmt), significantly below 319.79 mmt in the 2006/2007 crop year, and far below the 390.14 million metric tons for 2005/2006 ending stocks. Grain stocks per capita are at danger ratios. (from the article “Biofuels Are Famine Policy; Food Shortages Are Hitting” by by Marcia Merry Baker)

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Is America Headed for a Food Shortage?

A new study suggests that ethanol production could drive up corn prices, leaving U.S. grains and meat in short supply (read)

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U.N. official says crops as biofuel ‘crime against humanity’

By The Associated Press – 10/27/07

UNITED NATIONS — A U.N. expert on Friday called the growing practice of turning crops into biofuel “a crime against humanity” because it has created food shortages and sent food prices soaring, leaving millions of poor people hungry.

Jean Ziegler, who has been the U.N.’s independent expert on the right to food since the position was established in 2000, called for a five-year moratorium on biofuel production to halt the growing “catastrophe” for poor people. (more…)

And now all of a sudden folks are surprised?

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Comments
  1. MIB says:

    Contrary to the EIR article — a notoriously unreliable news source as any — the world’s grain harvest for 2007 reached a record high. And the amount of corn diverted in the U.S. for ethanol production this year is approximately 25% lower than the stated number (~20%). Another fact not included in the article is much of the corn used in ethanol production isn’t edible for humans. The most recent edition Newsweek ran a fairly informative series on the ramifications of corn-based ethanol production.

    Even when accounting for the increased amount of corn used in U.S. ethanol production, the impact upon grain prices is tertiary in comparison to the huge increases in petroleum prices and heightened speculation on grain commodities by investors. Then there’s ill-formed public policy, like the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, and countries including India and China who have placed caps on grain exports.

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