WASHINGTON — This afternoon, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) submitted comments condemning a U.N. Committee on World Food Security (CFS) draft study on biofuels and food security.
The U.N. CFS appointed a “high level panel of experts” to conduct the study. Timothy Searchinger, an outspoken critic of biofuels and author of a highly controversial 2008 report on indirect land use change, is among the appointed panelists.
Geoff Cooper, RFA’s Vice President for Research and Analysis, explained that the draft report “needs substantial revision before it can be submitted for official peer review. Not only does the report fail to discuss potentially positive impacts of biofuels expansion on food security, but it also inappropriately expands the intended scope of the study, blatantly disregards input from the May 2012 consultation, fails to include a comprehensive literature review, and adopts highly questionable assumptions regarding animal feed co-products, crop yields and other factors.”
The RFA comments reflect the association’s belief that “biofuels are providing tangible benefits and positive outcomes for both the world’s farmers and consumers. Biofuels have already proven themselves as agents of economic development, environmental improvement, and social progress in many developed nations. We believe biofuels can bring the same benefits to developing nations without jeopardizing food security. In fact, biofuels have the potential to serve as an important tool in reducing food insecurity. Indeed, we agree with the U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) that: ‘…investment in bioenergy could spark much-needed investment in agricultural and transport infrastructure in rural areas and, by creating jobs and boosting household incomes, could alleviate poverty and food [in]security.’”
The RFA comments can be read in full here.