WASHINGTON – In a guest editorial in the April 19 edition of Feedstuffs, J. Patrick Boyle, American Meat Institute president and chief executive officer, wrote, “When the federal government decided it was going to require a market for corn-based ethanol, nurture it with taxpayer dollars and protect it with import tariffs, that quickly created a competitive rift in parts of the otherwise harmonious U.S. agriculture community.”

The rift exists, Mr. Boyle said, because the ethanol-use mandate pits the growers of corn against the users of corn; the refiners of corn-based ethanol against the refiners of other fuel options, and the developers of technology for corn-based ethanol against the developers of technology for non-food-based biofuels.

“This rift has been played out on a public stage over the last several years as these competing interests have battled for their members and their prosperity in hopes of capitalizing on the national consensus to move from a petroleum-based energy policy to an energy policy that accommodates new and emerging biofuels,” he added.

When the dust settles, Mr. Boyle said, it's clear that a policy that mandates the burning of our food supply for our fuel supply is not sustainable in the long term.

He notes corn-based ethanol is not economically sustainable; will not solve our energy needs; undermines the U.S. protein industry; and hampers the development of the next generation of biofuels.

“The government's ethanol policy has created a competitive tension within parts of American agriculture; however, we remain confident that at some time in the future, when this debate is behind us and other biofuels are online and commercially available, the animal protein industry will still be the best and most reliable customer for American corn growers. They can bank on it,” Boyle concludes.

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