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When the market sees that it is more profitable to produce ethanol than sell the grain for food, the food industry will be in trouble. Since ethanol is used as a fuel, its price will be tied to the price of oil. As oil prices climb because of the impending world shortage of oil, ethanol prices will rise. As a consequence food prices will rise as well.
It should be noted that if the entire US corn crop were converted into ethanol, it would satisfy only 16 percent of US transport needs. The amount of corn that goes into the gas tank of a large automobile could feed one person for a year.
In its report, the IEA argued that biofuel production would hit 1.8 million barrels by 2012, more than double 2006 levels.