Of course I’m not surprised:
The House Agriculture Committee endorsed a letter this week to Budget Chairman Paul Ryan arguing that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which helps low-income Americans purchase food, would make a better target for cuts than automatic subsidies to farms.
I have a better idea. Let’s quit the ethanol nonsense, and revert back to using corn for food and feed. Then perhaps the price of corn will go down, resulting in lower food costs. You still want to cut SNAP? Then stick to growing corn for food and feed and work towards reducing the cost of food overall.
Farm subsides have been given out since the Great Depression. Due to our current economic situation, it’s time to reevaluate the program.
Here comes the corn industry again:
The Corn Refiners Association, which represents firms that make the syrup, has been trying to improve the image of the much maligned sweetener with ad campaigns promoting it as a natural ingredient made from corn. Now, the group has petitioned the United States Food and Drug Administration to start calling the ingredient “corn sugar,” arguing that a name change is the only way to clear up consumer confusion about the product.
Read more –> A New Name for High-Fructose Corn Syrup – NYTimes.com.
A leaked report by the World Bank, purportedly confirms that biofuels, not increased demand from India and China, has caused the world’s food prices to increase by 75%.
President Bush has linked higher food prices to higher demand from India and China, but the leaked World Bank study disputes that: “Rapid income growth in developing countries has not led to large increases in global grain consumption and was not a major factor responsible for the large price increases
The news also suggests that the report was finished back in April, but was held back:
It all sounds to corny to me, hehehe….
As I said back in March, riots over food prices have begun. In fact, this month in Haiti, the prime minister was ousted over food-related rioting and death.
A recent NYTimes Editorial describes the current situation. Although the rise in food prices are partly a result of “uncontrollable forces — including rising energy costs and the growth of the middle class in China and India”, rich nations are making the problem worse by increasing biofuel production:
The International Monetary Fund estimates that corn ethanol production in the United States accounted for at least half the rise in world corn demand in each of the past three years. This elevated corn prices. Feed prices rose. So did prices of other crops — mainly soybeans — as farmers switched their fields to corn, according to the Agriculture Department.
Rice is a staple for half the world. Rice prices have almost doubled this year, mostly due to countries like India and Vietnam banning the export of certain types of rice. India has tried to control domestic costs by raising the export prices of non-basmati rice. In Thailand, there are reports that about 200,000 tons of rice (worth over $100 million) have gone missing from national warehouses. Since January, thousands of troops have been deployed in Pakistan to guard trucks carrying wheat and flour.
In a world where there are millions of people who are wealthy, smart, and creative, we shouldn’t be rioting over food.
Another article which explains why food prices are going up. From the Christian Science Monitor:
Two major trends have been pushing prices up faster than they have risen for more than 30 years. One is that increasingly prosperous consumers in India and China are not only eating more food but eating more meat. Animals have to be fed (grains, usually) before they are butchered. The other is that more and more crops – from corn to palm nuts – are being used to make biofuels instead of feeding people.
An excellent article which reiterates the point, that food prices are going up, because of corn being diverted from human consumption to ethanol production.
Of course, the Iowa Corn Promotion Board will be right there saying it’s not their fault.