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US to proceed with production of biofuels despite global food crisis

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theguardian.com

The US will press ahead with biofuels production, the deputy secretary for agriculture has said, despite increasing concerns over aglobal food crisis, and calls from campaigners to prioritise grain for human consumption over its use as a fuel.Jewel Bronaugh, the deputy secretary of agriculture, said US farmers could continue to produce biofuels without harming food production. “We are keeping food security top of mind, but at the same time we also want to remain steadfast in the support and promotion of biofuel,” she told journalists in London, where she met the UK government to discuss a possible trade deal and cooperation on food issues.She said biofuels could help to reduce the need for fossil fuels, and thus help to tackle the climate crisis, and were important in keeping down the price of fossil fuels. “We know they [biofuels] have a significant positive impact, not only on climate change, but on the affordability of gas [petrol], which is very important for the world economy,” she said.“There are also opportunities for increasing jobs – a lot of significant benefits there, which we feel are important.

We will continue to promote biofuels as a sustainable fuel, especially at a time when gas prices are so high,” she added.The US has for years been the world’s biggest producer of ethanol for use as a transport fuel, usually blended with petrol and distilled from maize, and one of the biggest producers of biodiesel, from oils including soya.Joe Biden is facing a tough set of mid-term elections for the US Congress this autumn.

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