Farm and Food Industry Groups Oppose EPA Decision on Corn-Based Ethanol

A coalition of farm and food industry trade associations representing every step of the food chain from meat and poultry producers, restaurants, bakers to other food manufacturers today issued the following statement in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement that it would allow the sale of gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol (“E15”) for cars manufactured in the 2007 model year or later.

E15 – which would be a 50 percent increase from the currently permitted level of 10 percent ethanol in gasoline – will result in dramatic increases in the portion of the U.S. corn crop used to make fuel rather than food and, when fully implemented, could result in more than 40 percent of the nation’s corn crop being diverted to ethanol production. The corn ethanol industry has received over $30 billion in federal subsidies over the last three decades.

These farm and food industry groups criticized the decision, noting that it is certain to accelerate the recent dramatic rise in corn prices, and questioned whether the EPA decision is legally sound.

Members of the Coalition include the American Meat Institute, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the National Council of Chain Restaurants, the National Chicken Council, the American Frozen Food Institute, the American Bakers Association, the National Meat Association and the National Turkey Federation.

The Coalition commented: “The EPA’s decision will have an impact on American farmers, food manufacturers and, most importantly, American consumers, who will face price increases at the grocery store and when they go out to eat in a restaurant. EPA took this step without sufficient regard for the inevitable effect on the price of food and feed.”

The Coalition continued: “After decades of federal subsidies and fuel mandates, the corn-based ethanol industry should stand on its own two feet and stop depending on the United States taxpayer for unneeded and unwarranted support. Enough is enough.”