Advanced biofuel development quickens

Rapid development of advanced biofuels is the key to reducing reliance on oil and global food prices, and ongoing advances in industrial biotechnology are helping achieve that goal.

Brent Erickson, executive vice president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization's Industrial & Environmental Section says: “A newly released economic analysis shows that oil prices and speculative investments by hedge funds in agricultural commodity futures are playing the largest role in driving up food costs.”

A new study recently released by the Agricultural & Food Policy Center at Texas A&M University demonstrates that higher energy costs and $100-per-barrel oil have had the most significant impact on food and grain prices by increasing the cost of production. It also shows that speculative investment activities have increased price volatility within grain markets, raising prices for food. Due to these factors, the analysis concludes, relaxing the new Renewable Fuel Standard and reducing production of biofuels would not lower grain prices.

The study is available at www.afpc.tamu.edu/.

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