Ethanol Policy Threatens To Starve The World

How Ethanol is Contributing to Poverty & Hunger

Politics Gone Crazy


" Filling the gas tank of an SUV with pure ethanol requires more than 450 pounds of corn -- roughly enough calories to feed one person for a year."  1


"Powering the average U.S. automobile for one year on ethanol (blended with gasoline) derived from corn would require 11 acres of farmland, the same space needed to grow a year's supply of food for seven people." 2  


Ethanol policy threatens to starve the world

(Typifies Government Solutions to Problems)


World Net Daily published an article with this title, "Ethanol policy threatens to starve the world."  Following are excerpts from different articles and organizations that substantiate this claim.  3


"We are witnessing the beginning of one of the great tragedies of history," the EPI [Economic Policy Institute] proclaimed in January.  'The United States, in a misguided effort to reduce its oil insecurity by converting grain into fuel for cars, is generating global food insecurity on a scale never seen before.'"  4.


But the biggest problem with ethanol is that it steals vast swaths of land that might be better used for growing food. In a recent article in Foreign Affairs titled "How Biofuels Could Starve the Poor," University of Minnesota economists C. Ford Runge and Benjamin Senauer point out that filling the gas tank of an SUV with pure ethanol requires more than 450 pounds of corn -- roughly enough calories to feed one person for a year. 5.


A 2007 report from International Food Policy Research Institute, or IFPRI, concludes that "Biofuel production currently adversely affects the poor through price-level and price-volatility effects."  IFPRI's report also noted, "Since the beginning of 2000, butter and milk prices have tripled, and poultry prices have almost doubled."  6.


How Ethanol is Contributing to Poverty & Hunger (taken from "Ethanol Policy Threatens to Starve the World.") 7


Across the globe, people are discovering it's a new contributor to world hunger.  Led by the United States, governments are paying companies billions to make ethanol from corn and other crops.  The result: these crops are diverted from the food supply, creating artificial shortages and higher prices.


Even record harvests haven't suppressed food prices. Instead, prices are soaring to all-time highs. 


Corn that traded around $2 a bushel just two years ago is now well over $5 a bushel.  The impact ripples through the food chain of milk, butter, eggs, flour, pasta and everything else, because dairy cattle, beef cattle, poultry and swine depend on the corn for their feed.  When chicken feed doesn't cost chicken feed anymore, then neither does anything else.


Other grains, like wheat, are also at record highs because farmers are planting less wheat and more corn, thanks to the ethanol incentives.  Less supply, plus more world demand, means higher prices for wheat products, too, from flour to bread to pasta.


Full-scale food riots may arise in some parts of the world, as more and more grain is diverted into fuel production.  The Earth Policy Institute reports that ethanol-related food protests occurred last year in Mexico, Italy, Pakistan and Indonesia.  A price-driven stampede killed three and injured 31 at a supermarket in China.


EPI's president, Lester R. Brown, says, "We're putting the supermarket in competition with the corner filling station for the output of the farm.  The result is that more people will go hungry."  8

Politics Gone Crazy

The cry of the Democrats since Roosevelt has been "Stamp out Poverty."  The alleged reason for almost every policy and every tax that Democrats support is to relieve the poor and narrow the gap between the rich and poor.  Forty years ago Democrat President Lyndon B. Johnson made the "War On Poverty" his mantra.


This War on Poverty resulted in a series of bills and acts, creating programs such as Head Start, food stamps, work study, Medicare and Medicaid.  More and more government control and higher taxes have been implemented to alleviate the needs of the poor.  Now liberals  are implementing programs that will not only increase poverty dramatically but will likely starve a portion of the world.


"With the first vote to be held in Iowa, the largest corn-producing state in the nation, former skeptics like Sens. Hillary Clinton and John McCain now pay tribute to the wonders of ethanol. Earlier this year, Sen. Barack Obama pleased his agricultural backers in Illinois by co-authoring legislation to raise production of biofuels to 60 billion gallons by 2030." 9


And even as this "ethanol" catastrophe  is on the verge of starving people,  there is a bill up for a vote right now in the US Senate called the 'Global Poverty Act" 10 sponsored by Senator Barack Obama that documented sources say will add  $65 billion a year to what the U.S. already spends. (And  we will probably have to borrow the money from China to pay it.)  The incompetence of government officials and the futility of government control never cease to amaze me.   Talk about a bucket with a hole in it; this is a bucket without a bottom in it. 


This Global Poverty Act makes levels of U.S. foreign aid spending subservient to the dictates of the United Nations, which is a step toward a global tax to reduce poverty.     We have all experienced the costs to us of higher taxes in an effort to stamp out poverty in our nation; just imagine what the tax increase will be as we foot the major part of the bill to stamp out poverty in the world.  I think we are just beginning to see the implosion of our economy.




1. The Ethanol Scam: One of America's Biggest Political Boondoggles

2. Ethanol Fuel from Corn Faulted as ‘Unsustainable Subsidized Food Burning’

3.  Ethanol policy threatens to starve the world

4.  Ethanol policy threatens to starve the world and INSIGHTS: Why Ethanol Production Will Drive World Food Prices Even Higher in 2008

5.   See number 1

6.   See number 1.

7.   See number 3

8.   See number 4

9.   See number 1

10.. Obama's Global Tax Proposal Up For Senate Vote