Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the United States does not deserve the scapegoat reputation it has too often assumed in the conversation of corn-based ethanol production. The Secretary says the truth is that a wide range of factors influence food prices, from fertilizer and energy costs, to weather, political instability and the host of actors who touch food as it goes from farms to mouths.
Writing for the Financial Times, Vilsack said, "Moving past the finger pointing, I believe that farmers in America and throughout the world will meet the challenges in front of them. Higher prices will serve as a catalyst to increase production and to respond to demand and supply fluctuations, but only if governments, local institutions and farmers have accurate, transparent information."
He also said, countries around the world must also embrace trade, which allows the flow of food from places with surplus to populations in need. That's why the U.S. supports the commitments made by leaders at the 2010 Seoul Summit to resist protectionism and bring the Doha Round to a successful conclusion.