Bloomberg News

FAO Chief Biofuel Criticism ‘Misinformed,’ Industry Lobby Says

January 24, 2012

Jan. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Criticism of biofuels and their impact on commodity prices by the new director general of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization is “simplistic and misinformed,” an industry lobby said.

Higher energy prices are the “primary driver” for increased costs of commodities including corn and sugar, Bliss Baker, a spokesman for the Toronto-based Global Renewable Fuels Alliance, wrote in an e-mailed statement today.

The use of corn to make ethanol in the U.S. affects prices for the grain across the world, FAO chief Jose Graziano da Silva told 64 agriculture ministers gathered in Berlin on Jan. 21, saying cereals should not be used to make biofuels. The Brazilian took the top job at the FAO on Jan. 1.

“I would urge the new FAO director general to focus on the real cause of high food prices -- the rising costs of energy,” Baker wrote in the statement.

The alliance had repeatedly called for an increase in the use of biofuels to help reduce reliance on crude oil, the group wrote in the statement.

--Editors: Claudia Carpenter, Dan Weeks

To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at

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