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Grocery Manufacturers Association Testifies Before Congress Regarding

(Washington, D.C.)  – Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) Vice President for Federal Affairs Scott Faber today testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works regarding federal biofuels policies.

“The same factors that caused a ‘perfect storm’ for commodity prices in 2008 are once again contributing to rising food and food ingredient prices, including strong global demand, poor weather, rising energy costs, commodity speculation, and trade restrictions.  However, one difference between 2008 and 2011 is that even more of our food and feed is being diverted to produce fuel. 

“Today, nearly 40 percent of U.S. corn production is diverted from food and feed to produce more than 13 billion gallons of corn ethanol.   Many experts have confirmed the link between corn ethanol and higher commodity prices, including researchers at the Congressional Budget Office and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“We urge Congress to freeze the amount of corn ethanol that must be blended into gasoline to provide advanced fuels more time to reach commercial scale.  In addition, Congress should immediately end the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) and instead invest in advanced fuels.  Congress should reject proposals to redirect the VEETC to corn ethanol infrastructure and instead invest in advanced fuels that that do not pit our energy security needs against our food security needs.

“The time is now for Congress to reform federal biofuels policies.”

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Based in Washington, D.C., the Grocery Manufacturers Association is the voice of more than 300 leading food, beverage and consumer product companies that sustain and enhance the quality of life for hundreds of millions of people in the United States and around the globe. 

Founded in 1908, GMA is an active, vocal advocate for its member companies and a trusted source of information about the industry and the products consumers rely on and enjoy every day.  The association and its member companies are committed to meeting the needs of consumers through product innovation, responsible business practices and effective public policy solutions developed through a genuine partnership with policymakers and other stakeholders. 

In keeping with its founding principles, GMA helps its members produce safe products through a strong and ongoing commitment to scientific research, testing and evaluation and to providing consumers with the products, tools and information they need to achieve a healthy diet and an active lifestyle.  The food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry in the United States generates sales of $2.1 trillion annually, employs 14 million workers and contributes $1 trillion in added value to the economy every year.