Washington, April 29, SPA -- Using farmland to produce biofuels like ethanol may be partly to blame for soaring food prices, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Monday.
“There has been apparently some effect, unintended consequence, from the alternative fuels effort,” Rice told a meeting of the Peace Corps in Washington when asked for the U.S. government’s view on the spike in world food prices.
“Although we believe that while biofuels continue to be an extremely important piece of the alternative energy picture, obviously we want to make sure that it is not having an adverse effect,” Rice said. “We think that it is not a large part of the problem, but it in fact may be a part of the problem, the ethanol debate.”
Rice said other factors causing high food process include problems of distributing food in conflict areas and export caps imposed by some countries that are trying to meet rising demand from its citizens. Biofuels have been promoted as a way to limit and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, responsible for global warming, but since they are grown on land that otherwise would be used for food production, they increasingly have been blamed for soaring food prices.