Ethanol Update: Removing ethanol from fuel increases toxic emissions

A new study from the Urban Air Initiative shows that removing ethanol from fuels increases toxic emissions.

The official comment period to speak out against the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to slash the amount of homegrown ethanol blended in our fuel supply as called for by Congress in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is now over.

But that doesn’t mean our voices should go silent. Until EPA’s numbers are finalized, continue speaking out in support of maintaining a strong RFS and keeping America’s energy policy moving forward, not backward.

Let your congressional representative and senators know about the importance of having fuel choice, as well as ethanol’s positive impact on air quality and Minnesota’s rural economy. Take to social media to tell EPA not to mess with the RFS. Fill up with higher ethanol blends and dispel myths about ethanol among family and friends.

We must continue standing up for homegrown biofuels at all times, regardless of open comment periods or what EPA might be doing to put up obstacles to renewable fuels.

Ok, now that that’s out of the way, let’s check out the latest news and happenings from the world of ethanol:

MCGA, others speak out for RFS
If you missed it, be sure to read the official RFS comment letter the Minnesota Corn Growers Association sent to EPA.

While you’re at it, check out the RFS comment letters from the Renewable Fuels Association and the American Coalition for Ethanol as well.

200,000 sign Fuels America petition
More than 200,000 people from all 50 states signed a petition led by Fuels America to stand up to the oil industry and tell EPA to maintain a strong RFS. Signed petitions in boxes stacked over 5 feet high were hand-delivered to EPA by leaders from National Farmers Union and I am Biotech.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Fuel America campaign.

Less ethanol, more toxic emissions
A new video from the Urban Air Initiative (UAI) demonstrates how removing ethanol from gasoline results in higher toxic emissions and increased prices at the pump.

When UAI compared fuel that contained no ethanol to fuel that contained the standard 10 percent ethanol in Wichita, Kan., they found that toxic aromatics like benzene and toluene were about 45 percent higher in the ethanol-free fuel.

Here’s a video that demonstrates the findings. After you’ve watched it, be sure to share on social media and with others.:


Ethanol blends = cleaner engines
Another UAI study shows that ethanol-free fuels actually increase wear and tear on engines, including hoses, seals and fuel tanks. From the report:

“…Vander Griend explained that extensive testing was conducted on fuel lines, gas containers, and plastic components. The materials were each soaked in straight gasoline (E0) and a 10 percent ethanol blend (E10) for extended periods of time. In every case, said Vander Griend, the ethanol free gasoline increased the damage to fuel lines, gas containers, and plastic components, while the materials soaked in E10 were impacted less.

“The notion that somehow ethanol free gasoline is a superior product could not be further from the truth,” continued Vander Griend.”

Here’s a video summarizing the study’s findings:


Must-read website
If you’re looking for a smart, insightful, honest and often humorous website to refer people to for information about ethanol, we can’t recommend “The Ethanol Chronicles” enough.

Marc J. Rauch, executive vice president at the Auto Channel, answers any and all ethanol-related questions from people who write in. No matter how angry, off-base or misinformed the “questions” Rauch receives, he takes the time to answer them. Politely. Often with a does of humor or irony mixed in.

Be sure to check out “The Ethanol Chronicles.”

POET Summer Sizzle event
If you’re looking for something fun to do on Monday, Aug. 3, POET is hosting its “Summer Sizzle” event from 4-8 p.m. at the Worthington Event Center (1447 Prairie Dr., Worthington, MN). Come for a social hour, meal and hear from regional leaders in the ethanol.

To RSVP, call POET at (712) 724-6604.

Where to find higher ethanol blends
If you’re wondering where you can fill up with E15, E85 or other higher ethanol blends, go to for a map and list of stations. You can also download the Minnesota Biofuels Association station locator app.

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Make your voice heard: Ask Sen. Klobuchar and Sen. Franken to stop WOTUS

The American Farm Bureau has compiled an interactive map to show just how overreaching EPA’s proposed WOTUS rule is.

Unless farmers, landowners and other concerned citizens act now, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule is set to go into effect on Aug. 28.

As most readers know, the new WOTUS rule dramatically expands the definition of what constitutes a water of the United States under the federal Clean Water Act. Ditches, ponds and low areas of a field that only contain moisture for a few days out of the year could be subject to permit requirements under the Clean Water Act if WOTUS is implemented.

That means farmers applying fertilizer, using pest control products or just moving dirt may be required to obtain a federal permit.

MCGA’s friends at the Minnesota Farm Bureau have set up an easy-to-use electronic messaging system to contact Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Sen. Al Franken and ask them to support S.1140, which is legislation that would withdraw and re-work EPA’s flawed WOTUS rule.

The implementation of WOTUS can still be stopped through congressional action, but it’s up to farmers to make their voices heard on the issue. Legislation to pull the WOTUS rule has already passed in the House, but not the Senate. That’s why your voice is needed. Contact Klobuchar and Franken today.

Unless farmers, landowners and other concerned citizens act now, the WOTUS rule is set to go into effect on Aug. 28, 2015.

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association is asking members and anyone who is concerned about regulation overreach by the EPA to stand up and speak out against WOTUS.

For more information on WOTUS and the negative impact it would have on Minnesota corn farmers, go to And don’t forget to tell Klobuchar and Franken to “ditch the rule” and support S.1140 to put a stop to WOTUS.

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Here’s everything MCGA has going on at Farmfest next week

Congressman Tom Emmer stopped by the MCGA Farmfest booth last year to scoop some sweet corn ice cream. Who might stop by next week?

Congressman Tom Emmer stopped by the MCGA Farmfest booth last year to scoop some sweet corn ice cream. You never know who might stop by next week.

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) will once again have a major presence at this year’s Farmfest, scheduled for Aug. 4-6 at Gilfillan Estate near Redwood Falls.

At noon on Thursday, Aug. 6, Farmfest attendees can get a free cob of delicious sweet corn courtesy of MCGA inside the main forum building. This is the first year that Minnesota’s corn farmers are sponsoring a free sweet corn feed at Farmfest.

MCGA is co-sponsoring rural broadband day on Tuesday, Aug. 4. Forum discussions will feature experts on the importance of having access to high-speed internet services for farmers and rural communities.

For all three days of Farmfest, the MCGA tent (booth No. 702, located at the corner of Seed Row and 7th Street) will be packed with everything attendees need to know about the latest corn farmer-funded research, MCGA initiatives and, of course, plenty of fun:

  • MCGA needs your time and talents. Farmer-leaders and staff in the MCGA tent will be connecting with farmers who want to become more active in standing up and speaking out for agriculture and corn farming. Agriculture’s critics are getting louder. Are you willing to stand up and speak out?
  • MCGA will once again be dishing up free scoops of sweet corn ice cream. This year’s sweet corn ice cream was made by the University of Minnesota.
  • If you’ve ever wanted to try a cookie made from distillers dried grains (aka DDG, a by-product of the ethanol-making process), come by the MCGA tent for a free sample. Corn farmer-funded research through South Dakota State University is looking at using DDG in human foods.
  • Free pizza! The MCGA tent is the place to go to get a coupon for a free slice of pizza from Tru Pizza.
  • MCGA will be giving away pollinator-friendly seed packets and distributing information on how to make your farm more bee and butterfly friendly.
  • A NASCAR showcar will be on display to promote the use of homegrown ethanol. All NASCAR vehicles run on E15, a blend of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent regular gasoline.
  • The American Lung Association in Minnesota’s Clean Air Choice team will be on hand to talk about ethanol’s air quality benefits and provide an overview of flex-fuel pumps.
  • You can also visit with other MCGA partner organizations, including CommonGround, Speak for Yourself and the Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center.

Of course, MCGA will also be looking to add to its ranks at Farmfest. Farmer-leaders will be on hand to help you sign up and join MCGA, or renew an existing membership in just a few minutes. With nearly 7,200 members, MCGA is one of the largest and most active grassroots agriculture organizations in the United States.

See you at Farmfest!

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Here is MCGA’s comment letter on EPA’s proposal to cut the Renewable Fuel Standard

You have until midnight on Monday, July 27 (that’s today!), to officially submit your comments and tell the Environmental Protection Agency that the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is working for all Americans. Click here to submit your comments.

Meanwhile, here is the official RFS comment letter from Northfield family farmer and Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) President Bruce Peterson, submitted on behalf of the MCGA’s more than 7,000 members.

July 27, 2015

Administrator Gina McCarthy
Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Mailcode: 28221T
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460

RE: Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0111

Dear Administrator McCarthy:

On behalf of the more than 7,000 members of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA), we appreciate the opportunity to comment on the proposed rule for the Renewable Volume Obligations of the Renewable Fuel Standard.

The recent announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to scale back Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) numbers as called for by Congress in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is a major step backward for America’s energy policy. Thanks to the RFS, the United States is relying less on foreign oil than ever before. The use of ethanol in our fuel supply also means American drivers are reducing harmful vehicle emissions and paying less at the pump.

EPA’s proposed RVO numbers fall in line with the fictional 10 percent blend wall and well below actual ethanol production. The blend wall is a myth created by the oil industry. The “Big Five” oil companies use rigid franchise and branding agreements, restrictive supply contracts, outlandish labeling requirements, punitive penalties and other heavy-handed tactics to discourage retail fuel stations from selling higher ethanol blends like E15 and E85.

Unbranded or independent fueling stations are four to six more times likely to offer E85 than one of the “Big Five” oil brands. Independent stations are over 40 times more likely to offer E15.

The American ethanol industry and the corn farmers who support it are more than capable of producing enough ethanol to far exceed the oil industry’s fictional 10 percent blend wall. Here in Minnesota, we’re already well beyond the make-believe blend wall. According to the Energy Information Administration, ethanol made up 12.2 percent of the Minnesota fuel supply in 2013.

Bruce Peterson

MCGA President Bruce Peterson farms in Northfield.

Not only do Minnesotans have access to nearly 300 stations that offer E85, they also can fill up with E15 at 30 stations. Since the Fall of 2013, a broad coalition that includes MCGA has invested in ethanol infrastructure and helped install more than 120 flex-fuel pumps throughout the state. These pumps give consumers the choice of filling up with regular unleaded, E15, E30 or E85.

That’s real consumer choice. Many of the retailers with flex-fuel pumps often report that drivers choose E15 if given the option because it’s less expensive, better for air quality and approved for use in all vehicles manufactured in 2001 or after.

Minnesota’s recent success in dispelling the myth of the blend wall follows a tradition of being a pioneer in the ethanol industry. We were the first state to blend 10 percent ethanol in our supply. This decision helped clean the air in the Twin Cities metro area and brought the region back into attainment status with the EPA.

There are 21 ethanol plants in Minnesota (nearly half of which are farmer-owned cooperatives) that support nearly 13,000 jobs. Ethanol has rejuvenated the rural economy in many parts of our state, leading to better schools, updated infrastructure and vibrant Main Street businesses. For every $1 invested to build a Minnesota ethanol plant, more than $8 has been returned to the economy.

Over 11,000 corn farmers grow and supply corn to Minnesota’s ethanol industry. From 2000-11, ethanol added an average of $2.11 in value per bushel. Improved corn prices meant more economic activity in rural areas and a ripple effect throughout the entire agricultural economy that had an impact in the Twin Cities and non-farming areas.

As you can see, a reduction in the RVO numbers would make an impact far beyond our fuel tanks. It would also result in job losses, reduced air quality and fewer rural economic development opportunities. There are already enough barriers and obstacles to ethanol in this country. By cutting the RFS, EPA is creating yet another one.

For example, E10 has been granted a 1 pounds-per-square inch (psi) waiver in the summer months. However, E15 has a lower vapor pressure than E10, but has not been granted the same waiver. Refiners are able to make reformulated gasoline (RFG) with Reid Vapor Pressure as low as 7.8 psi. If refiners were required to make RFG, there would be no need for a 1 psi waiver on E10 or E15 and there would be additional environmental benefits.

Instead of cutting the RFS, EPA would be better off working to address issues like these. Imagine obstacles like Reid Vapor pressure being removed from the advancement of E15. If all gasoline contained 15 percent ethanol, we’d replace 7 billion gallons of foreign oil and remove as much as 8 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions from the air in one year.

In summary, lower RVO numbers are bad for drivers, bad for farmers and bad for all Americans. We’re already producing enough ethanol to smash through the fictional oil industry blend wall, and could be producing more if some ill-advised regulations and other obstacles were removed.

Americans want cleaner-burning and more affordable choices at the pump. Corn farmers have proven that they’re capable of growing enough corn to produce food, feed, fiber and fuel. Now is not the time to take America’s energy policy backward. Now is the time for EPA to preserve the RFS and keep American energy policy headed in the right direction.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this important issue.





Bruce Peterson
Minnesota Corn Growers Association

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Corn Growers wrap up “What you need to Know” district meetings

MCGA President Bruce Peterson opened the "What you need to Know" district meeting in Redwood Falls. Anna Boroff provided a legislative update.

MCGA President Bruce Peterson opened the “What you need to Know” district meeting in Redwood Falls. Anna Boroff provided a legislative update.

Over 300 farmers attended a series of six “What you need to Know” district meetings hosted by the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) in July. The meetings were an opportunity for MCGA staff, along with staff from partner organizations, to provide an update on Minnesota’s new buffer requirements and other legislative and policy items important to corn farming in Minnesota.

Corn farmers filled meeting rooms in Red Lake Falls, Fergus Falls, Sauk Centre, Fairmont, Redwood Falls and Austin. After opening remarks from a MCGA farmer-leader, MCGA’s policy director Anna Boroff provided an overview of Minnesota’s new buffer requirements, an update on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “Waters of the United States” proposal and EPA’s proposal to cut the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Boroff also detailed the work MCGA put in to reach a compromise on Gov. Dayton’s buffer legislation, which originally required 50 feet of perennial vegetation along all waterways and ended up, basically, stepping up enforcement of buffer requirements that already existed.

Warren Formo from the Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center went into greater detail on the new buffer requirements. Formo answered several technical questions farmers had about the new law, but made it clear that several provisions in the law still need to be worked out.

The Department of Natural Resources is expected to release maps in the coming months that should provide further guidance on which ditches and waterways will require buffers.

Staff from local Soil & Water Conservation Districts wrapped up each meeting with their perspective on the new buffer laws and resources that might be available to farmers to comply with the new requirements.

Thank you to all the farmers who attended. If you’re a farmer who was unable to attend any of the six MCGA meetings and you’d like to know about Minnesota’s new buffer laws and other legislative topics covered, you can contact Boroff, Formo or your local SWCD office.

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Finding Common Ground

Wanda Patsche, a Minnesota farmer and CommonGround volunteer, speaks at a recent CommonGround event.

Wanda Patsche, a Minnesota farmer and CommonGround volunteer, speaks at a recent CommonGround workshop in the Twin Cities.

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

For two days in late June a group of women gathered at a Twin Cities workshop to listen and learn. The common thread that brought them together? A passion for agriculture. Who are they? CommonGround volunteers.

CommonGround is a group of farm women who volunteer their time to share information about their farms and the food they grow. More than 165 women from a wide variety of farms are involved in the program nationwide.

Workshop attendee Rebekah Gustafson is one of 19 women who volunteers with CommonGround in Minnesota. Gustafson and her husband raise corn, soybeans and horses on their family farm located near the Minnesota-Wisconsin border.

“As a farmer, it’s important to me that I share what we’re doing on our farm with others,” says Gustafson. “Workshops like this help me learn how I can better connect with consumers about what we’re doing every day.”

Volunteers at the workshop heard from several speakers on topics such as current food trends and branding and marketing. Attendees also had the opportunity hear insights on the latest consumer research related to food and farming.

CommonGround National staff member Missy Morgan, encouraged the workshop attendees to share their farm story.

“Most people in urban and suburban areas didn’t grow up on a farm or don’t know a farmer personally,” says Morgan. “CommonGround is a great platform for farmers, specifically women farmers, to make a connection with women in our U.S. cities to answer their most common food questions.”

After the two-day workshop, CommonGround volunteers hosted a dinner event at Kitchen Window in Minneapolis. At the event, CommonGround volunteers mingled with a group of urban and suburban women interested in food and nutrition. Nearly 50 people attended the event including Twin Cities’ media, nutrition professionals, mommy bloggers, and more.

Together the volunteers and guests had the opportunity to cook and enjoy some delicious dishes and have genuine conversations about farming and food. Questions—and misperceptions—about hot button topics like GMOs and hormone and antibiotic use were addressed by the farmers during a panel discussion at the end of the evening.

“There is a lot of misunderstanding about food right now,” says WCCO news reporter Kim Johnson, who attended the dinner event. “People care about it (food) and I think that’s a great thing. The fact that we’re here talking about it is great.”

And as more and more people seek information about their food and where it comes from, Gustafson encourages individuals to connect with a farmer.

“Many people aren’t sure who to ask or who is a reliable resource. Farmers are great people to look to for food questions because we’re growing and raising it every day,” says Gustafson.  “No matter what food choices you make, my goal is for people to make their choices based on facts not fear, and to be confident that farms like ours are growing safe and healthy food for all of us.”

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Submit your RFS comments before the July 27 deadline!

EthanolTime is running out to make your voice heard and tell the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is working for all Americans.

The EPA has proposed slashing the RFS — legislation that sets targets for the amount of clean, renewable and homegrown biofuels to blend in the U.S. fuel supply — by 4 million gallons below what Congress originally intended.

This isn’t just bad news for corn farmers and biofuels supporters, it’s bad news for anyone who drives a car and all Americans. Thanks to the RFS, we’re paying less at the pump, cutting our dependence on foreign oil and cleaning our air by blending our gasoline supply with ethanol.

Now is not the time for America to go backwards with its energy policy. The EPA is accepting public comments on its proposal to slash the RFS through July 27. The Minnesota Corn Growers Association has made it easy to submit your comments in minutes and make your voice heard:

That’s it. It’s that simple. It only takes a minute or two to stand up for ethanol and make your voice heard.

What are you waiting for? Submit your comments now!

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Setting the record on using ethanol in small engines

It is perfectly safe to used ethanol-blended fuel (E10) in your lawn mower and other equipment powered by a small engine.

It is perfectly safe to used ethanol-blended fuel (E10) in your lawn mower and other equipment powered by a small engine.

Written by Hoon Ge, MEG Corp

A video on the West Central Tribune’s website on July 8 titled “Why small engines go bad” contained several errors and misconceptions about the use of ethanol-blended fuel in equipment like lawn mowers and chain saws powered by small engines.

As many readers probably know, all regular unleaded fuel sold in the United States contains 10 percent ethanol. Blending ethanol in our fuel supply helps improve air quality and reduces America’s dependence on foreign oil. Contrary to what was said in the July 8 video, ethanol blends up to 10 percent (E10) are also safe to use in small engines.

The person interviewed stated that E10 only last two weeks, which is false. The minimum shelf life on E10 is six months. It may even last longer than one year under proper storage conditions.

Another myth perpetuated in the video claimed that ethanol in fuel absorbed humidity and led to excess water in your lawn mower’s fuel tank. Truth is, water in fuel occurs when it condenses out of the air when the air temperature drops. Straight gasoline can absorb up to 300 parts-per-million (ppm) of water before free water will form, which can cause engine damage.  E10 can absorb up to 5000 ppm before free water will form.

As long as you use a fuel tank cap that seals tightly, and drain the fuel from the tank before storing your piece of equipment for an extended period, you do not need to worry about ethanol resulting in excess water in your tank and causing damage. Another option for safe storage in the offseason is keeping the tank full and sealing off the vent.

To correct other misinformation in the video, ethanol blends completely with gasoline and will not separate. It is physically impossible for a concentration of ethanol to reach the engine as claimed in the video.

The only time ethanol and gasoline can separate is in the presence of a high amount of water. This is an usual circumstance and occurs when water percentages exceeds 0.5 percent, which is a very high percentage. E10 when blended with motor oil will not separate, once E10 is bonded with gas it will blend with motor oil.

Another myth in the July 8 video claimed that ethanol causes damage to a small engine’s carburetor. Since ethanol burns cleaner than gasoline, nothing could be further from the truth. If you’re having trouble with your carburetor, it’s likely being caused by old gasoline or gasoline that wasn’t stored properly.

There are two options when you’re done using your piece of equipment for the season: drain the fuel tank before storage or keep the tank full and seal off the vent. There is no need to spend extra money on ethanol-free “premium” fuel that doesn’t contain ethanol.

As summer winds down and the time draws closer to putting away our lawn mowers, chain saws and weed whackers for the winter, be sure to drain the fuel tank, or keep the tank full and seal off the vent. By taking these steps and following the instructions in the owner’s manual for proper storage and fueling, you can rest assured that E10 will power your small engine for a long, long time.

Written by Hoon Ge, founder of MEG Corp, a leading fuel consulting company based in Minneapolis. Ge is a chemical engineer with over 25 years of experience in the petroleum industry, including refining, additive formulation and alternative fuels.

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MN corn farmers talk WOTUS, ethanol and GMO labeling in Washington D.C.

A farmer-leader delegation from the Minnesota Corn Growers Association met with representatives and senators from Minnesota in Washington D.C. last week, including Rep. Tim Walz (right).

A farmer-leader delegation from the Minnesota Corn Growers Association met with representatives and senators from Minnesota in Washington D.C. last week, including Rep. Tim Walz (right).

Several farmer-leaders from the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) spent the week of July 13 in Washington D.C. attending Corn Congress and meeting with key policymakers and elected officials on Capitol Hill about important agriculture issues.

In addition to meeting with nearly every member of Minnesota’s congressional and senate delegation, MCGA farmer-leaders also met with key USDA officials and Rep. Mike Conway, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.

“Whenever we’re in Washington, we make sure to amplify the voices of Minnesota corn farmers loud and clear,” said Northfield farmer and MCGA President Bruce Peterson. “There are a lot of issues coming at us from multiple directions. We covered as much ground as we could during each meeting to ensure that the corn-farmer point of view was heard on each issue.”

An issue near the top of every corn farmer’s list is the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers’ (the Corp) proposed Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. Under WOTUS, EPA and the Corp would have expanded authority under the federal Clean Water Act to regulate land features and waters on or near farms.

“We expressed our concerns about the proposal’s lack of clarity and the extra burden and confusion new regulations would bring to Minnesota corn farmers,” Peterson said.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy speaking at Corn Congress

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy speaking at Corn Congress

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy also addressed farmers during Corn Congress.

Also at the top of the list of concerns for the Minnesota delegation was EPA’s proposal to significantly cut the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) – legislation that sets targets for the amount of homegrown ethanol blended in our fuel supply – below what Congress originally intended.

The MCGA delegation joined several hundred farmers from throughout the country and key elected officials for a RFS rally on the Capitol Hill lawn on Wednesday.

“EPA talks about wanting to reduce carbon emissions, but the agency’s lack of support for cleaner-burning ethanol and the RFS sure doesn’t back up that talk,” Peterson said.

Farmers still have time to make their voices heard on the RFS. Go to and click on the “Don’t Mess with the RFS” tab to submit comments to EPA before the July 27 deadline.

GMO labeling
While the MCGA delegation was in Washington, Congress passed a bill that would create a federal, uniform standard for labeling foods that contain genetically modified ingredients (GMOs).

“We support this bill because it would eliminate confusing state-by-state labels and create a simple federal label that is based on sound science and data,” Peterson said. “It’s good for farmers and good for consumers.”

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Corn Links: In defense of corn, the world’s most important food crop

Even Captain Cornelius appeared at the RFS rally on Capitol Hill.

Even Captain Cornelius appeared at the RFS rally on Capitol Hill.

There’s some really good reading on corn, GMOs and the Renewable Fuel Standard in major media outlets today. Here is a summary of each story, along with links so you can read the entire piece:

  • Tamar Haspel, a food and science writer who won the 2015 James Beard Foundation award for best food column, has a 1,300 word opus about corn in Thursday’s Washington Post. She writes:

There’s a strong case (which I’m going to make) that field corn, used as a grain, is the single most important food crop on the planet. That case is based on what I’ll contend is the most underappreciated metric in agriculture…That metric is — drumroll, please — calories per acre…In the calorie department, corn is king. In 2014, average yield in the United States was 171 bushels per acre…Each bushel weighs 56 pounds and each pound of corn yields about 1,566 calories. That means corn averages roughly 15 million calories per acre.

She goes on to cover how corn plays the most important role of any crop in helping to safely and securely feed a growing world population.

Too often, we see national food writers and major media outlets recycle the same tired talking points about corn and modern agriculture. Hats off to Hapel for providing meaningful insight and real-world context in her piece about corn.

I’ve spent much of the past year digging into the evidence. Here’s what I’ve learned. First, it’s true that the issue is complicated. But the deeper you dig, the more fraud you find in the case against GMOs. It’s full of errors, fallacies, misconceptions, misrepresentations, and lies. The people who tell you that Monsanto is hiding the truth are themselves hiding evidence that their own allegations about GMOs are false. They’re counting on you to feel overwhelmed by the science and to accept, as a gut presumption, their message of distrust.

Be sure to read the entire piece. It’s that good.

On a side note, Congress passed a bill on Tuesday that would eliminate confusing state-by-state food labeling laws and create a uniform, science-based federal labeling standard. The National Corn Growers Association supports this legislation.

  • The drive to tell the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to not mess with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) continues. Over 300 corn farmers and legislators rallied on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. on Wednesday to show their support for the piece of legislation that has helped clean our air, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and provided consumers with choices at the pump.

Have you made your voice heard on the RFS yet? Click here to tell EPA that the RFS is working for all Americans and to not slash it.

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