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September 2007
The great corn debate rages on.

Study shows minimal impact of ethanol on food prices

The production of ethanol from corn has had minimal, if any, impact on consumer food prices while reducing fuel costs to consumers across the country, according to a new Issue Brief.

The Issue Brief, which is a compilation of existing data and research, makes the point that while corn prices have indeed nearly doubled in the past year, according to the United States Commerce Department’s Consumer Price Index (CPI), food costs have increased just 2%, which is less than their historical average of 2.9% per year. And, during this time, petroleum price increases have had a greater impact due to higher costs of transportation and processing.

United States Senator E. Benjamin Nelson (D-NE), chairman of the Ethanol Across America education campaign, hailed a new Issue Brief addressing these issues as a calm voice in a debate that has become confused due to misinformation.

“America’s farmers are the most efficient and productive in the world” said Senator Nelson. “With this new demand will come increased yields and a likely leveling of prices. Even a recent study by critics of the corn ethanol industry concedes that the level of production we are calling for in Congress should not appreciably affect corn prices. We are also working hard to diversify our biofuel production by utilizing new feedstocks that range from specialty energy crops to waste materials.”

According to Douglas A. Durante, director of the Ethanol Across America campaign, ethanol is helping consumers at the gas pump. According to a survey by the Nebraska Ethanol Board, fuel prices in Nebraska are among the highest in the nation yet ethanol blends ranging from E-10 to E85 are significantly less expensive.

For copies of The Impact of Ethanol Production on Food, Feed, and Fuel, visit