Common BioFuel Myth: Corn-Based Ethanol To Blame For Global Food Shortages


Sure, government subsidy of corn based ethanol production is a contributing factor to the global food crisis now ensuing. However, there are multiple, significant independent causes; and, the interplay of contributing factors is far more complex than news headlines might lead you to believe (in the US media, especially).

Climate change is a factor. But so it the "Chardonnay Effect" - leading to a significant Australian reduction in rice exports to Asia-Pacific and Middle Eastern markets. So is population growth, especially in developing nations. So is increased use of grains to produce animal protein for Asia and India.

Add this to the 'limits to growth:" GM crops can have on average a 10% lower yield than the conventional varieties.

Genetic modification actually cuts the productivity of crops, an authoritative new study shows, undermining repeated claims that a switch to the controversial technology is needed to solve the growing world food crisis.

The study – carried out over the past three years at the University of Kansas in the US grain belt – has found that GM soya produces about 10 per cent less food than its conventional equivalent, contradicting assertions by advocates of the technology that it increases yields.

See photo credit link for detailed example of what field practices can contribute to the yield fall-off. Again: no simple answer. Our advice - echoing The Independent - listen to Lester.

Via::The Independent, Green Living Section, "Exposed: the great GM crops myth - Major new study shows that modified soya produces 10 per cent less food than its conventional equivalent"

Image credits::University of Delaware Crop Update, Manganese deficient soy leaves and "cupping" injured soy leaves, June 2002.