U.S. ethanol expansion to worsen world hunger

U.S. ethanol expansion to worsen world hunger

Wednesday, 04 April 2007, 05:00 Hrs
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Washington: Intensive production of ethanol in the U.S. will have a devastating impact on food security worldwide, said a study published by Foreign Affair magazine.
“The enormous volumes demanded by the ethanol industry will trigger shocking waves in the world food system," warned the authors, Ford Runge and Benjamin Senauer who are professors in Minnesota University.

By causing a rise in corn prices, the ever increasing use of ethanol as biofuel may threaten the diet of 2.70 billion people worldwide who live on less than two dollars a day, they stressed.

It takes about 204 kg of corn to fill the tank of a 4x4 vehicle with 94.5 liters of pure ethanol, which means enough calories to feed a person for a whole year," said the study.

If prices of crude remain high, the rapid increase in world biofuel production will make corn prices rise by even 20 percent from now until 2010 and by 41 percent till 2020.

Prices of other food products, including wheat and rice, may be pushed up as growers abandon these crops and turn to corn.
Source: IANS
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