RFS Ethanol Mandates a Kitchen Table Issue

“Restoring the
balance between
food and fuel crops
is long overdue.” – ABA President & CEO Robb MacKie

“As American consumers continue to cope with a
period of pro-longed economic turmoil, and U.S. food,
beverage and consumer products makers from farm
to fork struggle with record high commodity prices,
we believe it is EPA’s duty to grant a waiver for the
applicable volume of corn ethanol required by the RFS.”

“Congress should adopt an energy policy that, while
promoting sustainable, domestic, and affordable energy
sources, does not lead unnecessarily to increased food

“In total, corn is used in 75 percent of the food on
supermarket shelves. Losses in grain yields, therefore,
have a severe impact on U.S. food production for both
domestic consumption and exports such as corn,
soybean, and meat products.”

“It’s not just corn – food-to-fuel policies create a ripple
effect for all agricultural products, also increasing prices
for basic staples like bread, eggs and milk.”

“[W]ithout a high biofuels mandate, the market more
easily adjusts to short-supply situations because ethanol
producers will, at some corn-price level, also reduce
corn usage. Conversely, high biofuels mandates create
inflexibility in markets, the study says, and “any required
adjustment in demand (for corn) would occur outside the
ethanol industry” (e.g., feed, livestock/poultry, food).”
– American Meat Institute

“The corn-based ethanol mandate impacts the baking
industry twofold: First, the government mandate to
grow corn for fuel instead of food drives farmers to move
away from planting wheat; second, the wheat market
typically follows the much larger corn market, and when
corn prices rise due to government created demand for
ethanol, wheat prices rise as well. With an estimated 40
percent of the corn crop needed to satiate demand for
the corn-based ethanol mandate, there is little doubt that
the mandate impacts corn prices and supplies, which
will also impact the wheat market. ABA once again calls
on Congress to stand with consumers and repeal the
corn-based ethanol mandate.”
– American Bakers Association (ABA) President & CEO
Robb MacKie

Due to the 2005 and 2007 corn-based ethanol
mandates, wheat could not (and cannot) compete
for finite acreage against other biofuel crops. With the
addition of E15, estimates show that corn acreage may
need to increase to as much as 110 million acres in order
to meet demand. With increasing ethanol mandates due
to the RFS2, and with the inability of second generation
biofuels to come online quickly to relieve pressure on the
demand for corn-based ethanol, corn will continue to win
the battle over finite farmland in the and drive food prices
both domestically and internationally – Comments to the
House Energy and Commerce Committee

“The corn-based ethanol program and the Renewable
Fuel Standard (RFS) continue taking their toll on the
baking industry and consumers. Corn-based ethanol
has accelerated the decrease of wheat acreage in the
U.S. over the past 30 years and tightened food supplies
around the world.” – ABA President & CEO Robb MacKie