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NCGA ‘outraged’ at biofuels criticism by UN official

The National Corn Growers Association is “outraged by recent statements on biofuels made by United Nations independent expert Jean Ziegler,” the commodity group said in a press release.

“Among the egregious statements Ziegler made is the claim that food crops for biofuels are a ‘crime against humanity,’” the release said.

“Genocide is crime against humanity. War crimes are a crime against humanity. Any act of persecution to a large scale of people is a crime against humanity. Finding solutions to a global energy problem while continuing to provide food to the world is not a crime against humanity,” said NCGA CEO Rick Tolman.

Ziegler is calling for a five-year moratorium on biofuels production, although the price of oil is near $94 a barrel.

Tolman said if Ziegler were citing facts on biofuels and corn he would know the United States is harvesting 13.3 billion bushels of corn — more than enough to help meet the needs of global hunger, offset petroleum use, provide a nutritious feed for livestock and have more than an adequate corn supply on hand.

“It is a travesty when an official makes public statements that are so irresponsible, so inaccurate and so inappropriately damning,” he added. “The statements ‘crime against humanity’ and ‘catastrophe of the massacre (by) hunger in the world’ are not to be used lightly or in such an irresponsible manner.

“If this is an example of how Mr. Ziegler carries out his responsibilities, he should resign his post immediately. Hunger is not something to trifle with and those in positions of responsibility need to be accountable in their statements.”

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