January 31, 2013 By Leave a CommentThe Renewable Fuels Association yesterday submitted comments condemning a U.N. Committee on World Food Security draft study on biofuels and food security.
The U.S. CFS appointed a panel of what they consider to be high level experts to conduct the study. RFA points out that Timothy Searchinger, an outspoken critic of biofuels and author of a highly controversial 2008 report on indirect land use change, is among the appointed panelists.
Geoff Cooper, RFA’s Vice President for Research and Analysis, said the group’s draft report “needs substantial revision before it can be submitted for official peer review. Not only does the report fail to discuss potentially positive impacts of biofuels expansion on food security, but it also inappropriately expands the intended scope of the study, blatantly disregards input from the May 2012 consultation, fails to include a comprehensive literature review, and adopts highly questionable assumptions regarding animal feed co-products, crop yields and other factors.”The RFA comments reflect the association’s belief that “biofuels are providing tangible benefits and positive outcomes for both the world’s farmers and consumers. RFA believe biofuels can bring the same benefits to developing nations without jeopardizing food security. RFA also said biofuels have the potential to serve as an important tool in reducing food insecurity.”
RFA does agree with the U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) that: “…investment in bioenergy could spark much-needed investment in agricultural and transport infrastructure in rural areas and, by creating jobs and boosting household incomes, could alleviate poverty and food [in]security.”
The RFA comments can be read in full here.