cure for the agribusiness blues? apparently president clinton, not vilsack
Clinton warns of biofuel impact on poor by Philip Brasher
Former President Bill Clinton sounded a warning today on the impact that biofuels can have on global food prices and political stability. “We have to become energy independent but we don’t want to do it at the expense of food riots,” Clinton said at the Agriculture Department’s annual agricultural outlook conference, which draws agribusiness executives, university experts and others involved in the industry from around the country.
Clinton stopped short of calling for a slowdown to biofuel production but said there was a need for some kind of periodic reassessment of the industry. There is a need to “make intelligent decisions with three- to five-year time horizons based on the best evidence we have to maximize the availability of good food at affordable prices,” Clinton said. He did not elaborate on the remark and did not take questions after his speech.
Clinton’s warning stood in contrast to the more bullish views of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. He told the conference was “no reason to take the foot off the gas” when it comes to biofuels, because U.S. farmers “can do it all.”
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