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Aussie pork producers fight ethanol mandate

The Australian pork industry has joined calls warning against the NSW Government's decision to increase the mandated level of ethanol in fuel, saying that it will push even more producers out of business.

The NSW Government proposes to triple its ethanol fuel mandate for E10 petrol from 2% to 6% by 2010 and to 10% by 2011. Australian Pork Limited general manager for policy, Kathleen Plowman, said if the proposal was legislated, it would distort the grains market, putting further pressure on food prices by driving up the cost of grain and grain dependent meat industries such as pork.

Plowman said the OECD had stated that government support of biofuel production was costly, has a limited impact on reducing greenhouse gases and improving energy security, and has a significant impact on world crop prices. "Internationally governments are moving away from policy assistance towards grain based ethanol production because of concerns for food security and the environmental sustainability of this technology.

"Claims by the NSW Minister for Lands, Tony Kelly, that the ethanol mandate will be sourced totally from by-products are flawed. Using currently available technology, the key feedstock for ethanol production in NSW is grain."

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