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USDA Says Biofuels Not Responsible for Increasing Food Prices

May 21, 2008
On Monday the USDA held a press briefing. The subject? Food and fuel.
One theory that has been widely discussed in recent weeks is that the nation's growing demand for biofuels and the crops needed to produce them is the real culprit behind higher food prices, both at home and abroad. Yet the evidence that we have seen, and that Joe will take you through in just a few minutes, does not support this.

said, Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer

Dr. Joe Glauber, USDA's Chief Economist cited reasons such as global economic growth, drought, export restrictions, energy costs -- and their impact on food marketing and transportation costs.

The Secretary closed with,
Our need for food and fuel is only going to grow. For agriculture to meet that need, we must work with other nations to get more productivity out of the land that we have through wider use of biotechnology and better farming and irrigation and pest control methods. We must build our fair framework for international trade so every nation can build on the strength it brings to agriculture and to benefit from the strengths that other nations can offer.

and then took questions from reporters.

To see the video of the briefing, read the transcript, or view the powerpoint slides visit the USDA's Newsroom.