Merle Anderson, Climax, Minn., letter: Grocers should stop opposing farmersIf farmers produce most of the basic food items in these places, why does the grocery industry lobby join in a lawsuit against farmers and renewable fuels?
By: Merle Anderson,
CLIMAX, Minn. — When I walk through the big doors of the modern grocery store, it seems like I’m walking through the pearly gates of Food Heaven.
Then I stop and ask myself: If farmers produce most of the basic food items in these places, why does the grocery industry lobby join in a lawsuit against farmers and renewable fuels?
The Grocery Manufacturers Association has lobbied against farmers by blaming ethanol for the high cost of food. Not true! The cost of food is up because of $3-a-gallon fuel prices. Costs of processing, wrapping, boxing and transportation is where grocers’ increased costs are.
Despite this, the association recently joined with Big Oil and others in a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency because E15 was partially approved in our cars and pickups.
So, as I wander through Food Heaven, I ask these questions:
Do grocers and their association realize that the ethanol industry has done a lot of good things for our country?
Do they realize that the ethanol industry plays a role in what we call “value added agriculture” and make farming more stable? (Remember, farm families buy groceries, too.)
Do they know their effort against ethanol is causing our country to buy more foreign oil to the tune of $1 billion a day?
Do they have something against the creation of jobs, rural community development, continuing growth of a local tax base and lower gas prices at the pump?
Do grocers and their association have strong feelings against cleaner air?
If the grocery industry answers “no” to these questions, they should apologize to farmers and to grocery customers.
As I walk back into the real world, I have to say, come on, America:
Support the ethanol industry. It’s doing good things for Americans and our country.
Find that gas station with a blender pump, and if you have a flex-fuel vehicle, push that E85 button. If you don’t, push the E30 button.
You will feel good about it. And you buy groceries with the money you’ve saved.
Anderson, a retired farmer, is chairman emeritus of the American Coalition for Ethanol.