The National Chicken Council, along with 15 other groups, hosted a policy forum this week on Capitol Hill entitled “Corn Ethanol Policy in the 112th Congress.”  The policy forum included a number of experts presenting research and providing insight into the impact of corn ethanol on energy independence, food security and stability in developing nations, fiscal responsibility, and environmental stewardship.   Panelists also discussed the history of ethanol subsidies and the impact of those subsidies on rural America and jobs and on the federal budget.

“U.S. ethanol policy has drained the world’s grain reserves, adding little, if anything, to the U.S. economy and has significantly raised the cost of U.S. and global food production,” Dr. Tom Elam, one of the forum panelists and president of FarmEcon, told forum participants.  He added that there has been no real growth in the Gross Domestic Product nor has there been any measurable increase in employment as a result of the increase in ethanol production.  In 2010, grain buyers around the world had to pay $130 billion more for corn because so much corn was used for ethanol, Elam said.  Other crops cost would be additional, he said.

In addition to the National Chicken Council, sponsors included Actionaid; Americans for Limited Government; American Frozen Food; American Meat Institute; California Milk Producers Council; Clean Air Task Force; Competitive Enterprise Institute; Environmental Working Group; Friends of the Earth; Freedom Action; Grocery Manufacturers Association; National Council of Chain Restaurants; National Meat Association; National Turkey Federation; and Taxpayers for Common Sense.