April 9, 2009
A congressional report says the increased use of ethanol could cost the government up to $900 million for food stamps and child nutrition programs.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says higher use of
the corn-based fuel additive between April 2007 and April 2008
accounted for about 10 percent to 15 percent of the rise in food
prices during that time. That translates into higher costs for food
programs for the needy, the report said.
CBO says other factors, such as skyrocketing energy costs, had
an even greater impact than ethanol on food prices during that
period. The report says ethanol's impact on future food price
inflation is uncertain.
Roughly one quarter of corn grown in the United States is now
used to produce ethanol.