Lester Brown, the president of the Earth Policy Institute said yesterday that the increase in ethanol production around the world could one day hurt the world's poor as foodstuffs like corn and soybeans are turned into ethanol. Brown said, "This is shaping up as competition between the 800 million people in the world that own automobiles and the 2 billion low-income people in the world, many of whom are already spending over half their income on food."
One way the poor could be hurt, Brown said, is if the foodstuff prices rise as the commodities become more valuable. The grain-importing nations of Indonesia, Nigeria, Mexico and Egypt, are most vulnerable to an increase in prices, he said. Higher mileage vehicles, better hybrids and working cellulose ethanol production are some solutions Brown put forward.

[Source: Reuters Foundation]

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