Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz is blasting those opposing a proposed mandate for biofuels in the country.
This story from the Lloydminster (Alberta, Canada) Meridian Booster has more details:
Ritz defended the plan in the House of Commons against criticism from the New Democratic Party, which once supported the use of biofuels but has switched its position. The bill would mandate a five per cent ethanol mixture in gasoline by 2010 and a two per cent mixture of biodiesel by 2012.
“It’s an excellent situation for the environment, it’s a great thing for farmers, and a great thing for rural communities,” said Ritz.
The NDP’s about-face comes after a number of studies have been released indicating that using wheat and corn-based ethanol could drive up food prices in light of what some experts are calling a global food shortage. The United Nations recently called biofuels a “crime against humanity” for diverting food away from hungry mouths.
Ritz says this situation doesn’t apply to Canada where the price of basic food commodities actually dropped slightly in February. The government estimates it would take five per cent of total production capacity to produce the three billion litres of ethanol which the plan would require. He says the weather has more impact on Canada’s agricultural output than five per cent.
The article goes on to say that Ritz points out that the United Nations has said there’s enough food. The issue is getting it to where it needs to be at the right time.