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World Bank Study Debunks Food vs. Fuel Myth


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WASHINGTON, DC - August 3, 2010; A newly released working paper from the World Bank found that biofuels were not to blame for the so-called food crisis of 2007 to 2008. For almost two years, Growth Energy, the coalition of U.S. ethanol supporters, has countered claims that ethanol and farm prices were to blame for higher food prices. Today, Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, said this report further refutes the claim that ethanol led to high food prices. The working paper can be found here.

The World Bank’s report, released today, is an about face from its 2008 Policy Research Working Paper which claimed 70-75 percent of the increase in food prices that year was due to biofuels. The authors of the World Bank's new working paper argue that energy prices and speculation played significant roles in the non-energy commodity price spikes seen in the recent past.

Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis praised the World Bank for setting the record straight:

“I applaud the World Bank for admitting the error of their ways and setting the record straight. They have dispelled the myths and lies perpetuated by those who tried to say there was a “food-versus-fuel” issue. This study clearly shows that the notion of food-versus-fuel was simply wrong . In fact, this study confirms what we’ve known for some time – the impact of ethanol production on food prices is minimal and other factors, including increased oil prices, were the main drivers in the rise of food prices.

“Food-versus-fuel has always been and will always be nothing more than a myth. We hope that this report will encourage others who have relentlessly perpetuated this untruth to admit their mistakes and put an end to this false debate.”