Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

Food or BioFuel? According to the IMF and others

Biofuels Hurt Food Prices, Water Quality and Supply 23 October 07

Scientists, researchers and economists are warning the production of biofuels could undermine food output, drive up food prices, create water shortages, and impact water quality.

An International Water Management Institute report examines China and India's plans to increase biofuel production from irrigated maize and sugarcane. The report indicates biofuels will require large quantities of water, and increase demand for land at the expense of nature.

In its twice-yearly report on the world economy, the International Monetary Fund warns that an increasing global reliance on grain as a source of 'fuel' could drive up food prices in poor countries. It called for international coordination to ensure that promoting biofuels takes account of impacts on consumer prices.

A new US National Research Council report says if ethanol production continues to rise, the effect on water quality and water supply could be considerable. Increased pressure on local aquifers used to grow and refine corn into ethanol; high levels of nitrogen in groundwater from pesticides and fertilizers; and runoff pollution in streams and rivers are a few potential impacts. Regional water assessments, adoption of environmentally sound farming practices, and full life cycle of biofuel production reviews are necessary before conversion to biofuel cultivation, according to the report.

View October 11, 2007 Reuters article http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L1099244.htm
View International Water Management Institute research on biofuels http://www.iwmi.cgiar.org/WhatsNew/Biofuels/index.htm
View October 17, 2007 article on Forbes.com http://www.forbes.com/afxnewslimited/feeds/afx/2007/10/17/afx4229623.html
View October 2007 International Monetary Fund report, World Economic Outlook http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2007/02/index.htm
View October 1, 2007 MIT News article http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2007/biofuels-1011.html
View October 10, 2007 National Research Council press release http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=12039
View National Research Council report http://books.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12039

Sources: Reuters, International Water Management Institute, Forbes.com, International Monetary Fund, National Research Council

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