Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Clifford May trivializes the impact on world hunger of the recent surge in grain prices ("Food and fuel cost fix," Commentary, Saturday). I don't usually quote eco-radical George Monbiot, but on this topic, nobody has said it better: "Even when the price of food was low, 850 million people went hungry because they could not afford to buy it. With every increment in the price of flour or grain, several million more are pushed below the breadline."
Mr. May argues that the ethanol mandate can't be a culprit in grain price inflation because "the total U.S. corn crop has increased 45 percent since 2002" while the amount of corn "available for food and feed has increased 34 percent." These numbers are misleading because the mandate was not enacted until July 2005. The relevant issue is the mandate's effecton food stocks over the past three years.
According tothe Department of Agriculture, total U.S. corn production in 2004-05 (the crop year before the mandate was enacted) was 11.8 billion bushels, and it will hit an estimated 13 billion bushels in 2007-08 - an increase of 1. …