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Grocers opposing farmers?

CLIMAX, Minn. -- When I walk through the big doors of the modern grocery store, it seems like I'm walking through the pearly gates of "Food Heaven."...

CLIMAX, Minn. -- When I walk through the big doors of the modern grocery store, it seems like I'm walking through the pearly gates of "Food Heaven."

Then I stop and ask myself, "If farmers produce most of the basic food items in these places, why does the grocery industry lobby join in a lawsuit against farmers and renewable fuels?"

The Grocery Manufacturers Association has lobbied against farmers by blaming ethanol for the high cost of food.

The claims are not true. The cost of food is up because of $3-plus per gallon for fuel prices. Cost of processing, wrapping, boxing, and transportation is where the increased costs are. GMA recently has joined with big oil and others opposing groups in a lawsuit against the EPA because E15 was partially approved for cars and pickups.

Why the disagreement?

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So, as I wander through "Food Heaven," it causes me to ask these questions:

n Does GMA realize that the ethanol industry has done a lot of good things for our country?

n Does GMA realize that the ethanol industry plays a role in what we call value added and makes agriculture more stable? Remember, farm families buy groceries, too.

n Does GMA know its effort against ethanol is causing our country to buy more foreign oil to the tune of $1 billion a day of a transfer of our wealth?

n Does GMA have something against the creation of jobs, rural community development, continuing growth of a local tax base and lower gas prices at the pump?

n Does GMA have strong feelings against cleaner air? Or better yet, does it have problems with better and cleaner air in our metro areas?

If the grocery industry's answer to these questions is negative, it should apologize to farmers and their customers.

Next time you are in your local grocery store, ask to talk to the manager. Ask if he or she is a member of Grocery Manufacturers Association. Don't be afraid to tell the manager what you think.

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Ethanol needs supporters

As I walk back into the real world, I have to say, "Come on, America. Support the ethanol industry. It's doing good things for you and our country.

Find that gas station with a blender pump if you have a flex-fuel vehicle and push that E85 button. If you don't, push the E30 button.

You will feel good about it. And you can take your family to the grocery store and buy them groceries with the money saved.

Editor's Note: Anderson, of Climax, Minn., is chairman emeritus of the American Coalition for Ethanol.

Related Topics: FAMILYFOOD
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