Food groups sue U.S. for ethanol boost in gasoline

Tue Nov 9, 2010 5:31pm GMT

* EPA had ruled 2007 and newer cars can burn E15

* Food groups say ethanol boost would raise prices

* EPA E15 decision on 2001 to 2006 cars expected soon

By Timothy Gardner

WASHINGTON, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Farm and food industry groups filed a suit on Tuesday seeking to overturn a U.S. decision to allow higher levels of ethanol in gasoline and saying it could push up food prices.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association, the National Meat Association and other groups sued the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, saying the regulators had overstepped their authority when they ruled last month that gasoline retailers could sell fuel with up to 15 percent ethanol in it. The current allowable level is 10 percent.

The EPA ruled that cars built in 2007 and later could burn the fuel, known as E15.

Ethanol is mostly made from corn in the United States and food groups say E15 will lead to higher corn prices and meat prices because livestock eat the grain.

"This will put pressure on the meat and poultry supply, which will lead to higher food prices for consumers," J. Patrick Boyle, the president of the American Meat Institute said in a release.   Continued...

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