Major media reporters did not take the time to accurately report the issue correctly. In their rush to get a sensational headline, they got it wrong. In our first example, only the Sacramento Bee had done its homework.
The unintended consequence of this poor reporting is an erosion in the public's confidence that America can produce a safe and reliable food crop. And a potential loss by our farm community that our nation values the risks and hard work farmers give every day to produce it. Our nation's media have a responsibility to get the story right and stop this misrepresentation of corn and ethanol's impact upon higher food prices.
It's refreshing to discover that the St. Petersburg Times got the story right. The tide might be turning.
In their article this week, the reporting starts off with the familiar basic issue:
Ethanol wants corn and so do cows. So corn gets more expensive. And feeding corn to dairy cows gets more expensive. So your gallon of milk gets more expensive. Sounds logical. It's been on television, and in newspapers.The article then goes on to also correctly report:
But it's just not true. Dairy experts, government economists, and market analysts agree.
"The media has tied the rising price of corn to the rising price of milk" "Yes, corn is being diverted for ethanol. Yes, that is driving up corn prices. And yes, that means your local dairyman is paying more to feed his cows. But that isn't driving the price at your dairy case,So what is driving up the price?
Roger Hoskin, an agricultural economist with for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, offered this primary reason:
"Americans buy oil. A lot of oil, from places like the Middle East and Russia. They also buy clothes, toys and electronics from China, Thailand and Vietnam."The increase use of corn has been blamed for a host of food price increases. But the facts show otherwise.
"The people we buy oil from - and iPods and poison pet food and everything else - are coming back and spending money in our country," Hoskin explained. "They come back and they want to buy the same stuff you buy and they outbid you for it."
"Their competition for those items drives up the cost."
- Why Are Milk Prices High?
- High Milk Prices, Part 3
- Why are Retail Milk Prices So High?
- Dairy Prices Increase Due to Supply
- Grain Prices Not at Fault for Food Prices
- Food and Fuel Costs: Straight From the Farm
Source: St. Petersburg Times
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