WASHINGTON--()--Consumers should be aware that the price of oil has had the greatest impact on crop and food prices during 2008 and that biofuels can help end U.S. dependence on petroleum while creating new green jobs and real economic growth. Jim Greenwood, president and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), today released the following statement:
“Agricultural biotechnology continues to help increase crop yields, producing more food and biofuels feedstocks on less land. And industrial biotechnology is helping to convert corn starch and crop residues into biofuels more efficiently.”
“American consumers should not be fooled by ongoing attempts to misplace blame for this year’s rise in food prices on biofuels. The evidence before consumers is clear: crop prices have fallen dramatically in the past few months as oil and gas prices have declined. A barrel of oil cost $140 in July but is currently less than $65. Similarly, a bushel of corn that was more than $7.50 back in July is now less than $4, even while production of biofuels and other food, feed and fiber demands have all remained consistent. This connection between oil and crop prices has been noted by agricultural economists throughout the year. Yet many policymakers continue to be distracted by a spurious food vs. fuel debate.
“Agricultural biotechnology continues to help increase crop yields, producing more food and biofuels feedstocks on less land. And industrial biotechnology is helping to convert corn starch and crop residues into biofuels more efficiently.
“The nation’s current goal of producing and using 21 billion gallons of advanced biofuels by 2022 is a tremendous opportunity for jobs and growth. A 2007 U.S. Department of Commerce report projects that this amount of cellulosic ethanol would replace 4.1 percent of U.S. oil imports, keeping $8.4 billion in the U.S. economy rather than sending it overseas. It also shows that producing this amount of cellulosic ethanol could add $12.6 billion dollars to U.S. consumers’ pockets. Production of advanced biofuels could increase U.S. gross domestic product by $4.7 billion and, importantly, would add more than 20,000 jobs to rural economies.
The Advanced Biofuels & Climate Change Information Center presents the latest commentary and data on the environmental, greenhouse gas and other impacts of biofuel production. Drop in and add your comments, at http://biofuelsandclimate.wordpress.com/.
BIO represents more than 1,200 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world.
Upcoming BIO Events
Partnering Conference 2009
January 19-20, 2009
CEO & Investor Conference 2009
February 9-11, 2009
New York, New York
March 16-18, 2009
April 13-15, 2009
New York, New York
BIO International Convention
May 18-21, 2009
June 9-10, 2009
Congress on Industrial Biotechnology & Bioprocessing
July 19-22, 2009
Montreal, Quebec, Canada