WASHINGTON – Based on a new survey by Americas Research Group for Reuters, more than one-third of US consumers expect rising food prices will result in them cutting back on holiday spending, according to the American Meat Institute.

A total of 28.4 percent of the 1,000 people surveyed by Americas Research Group said rising food costs would cause them to cut back on their Christmas shopping somewhat, while another 7.2 percent said they would most definitely cut back.

Approximately 40 percent of the US corn crop is now devoted to ethanol production. This increase in corn demand has driven corn prices to record levels, putting tremendous pressure on the livestock and poultry industries that traditionally have been major users of corn as feed. Corn prices have roughly tripled since the government mandated ethanol be blended into gasoline in 2006 – and the Consumer Price Index for meat and poultry has risen steadily with it.

AMI and other industry groups have been advocates of a more balanced energy policy that would include federal energy policies that move beyond corn-based ethanol and don't pit food, feed and fuel needs against each other.

AMI's petition supporting a balanced energy policy is available online.