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National Restaurant Association - NRA expresses disappointment with EPA decision on fuel standard

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NRA expresses disappointment with EPA decision on fuel standard

The National Restaurant Association expressed disappointment over the Environmental Protection Agency's decision to not waive the Renewable Fuel Standard mandate for corn-based ethanol.

In the wake of this year's extreme drought, the NRA and others had argued that the federal government should grant the temporary waiver so that more corn could be used to bolster the food supply.

"The restaurant industry operates on razor-thin margins, making higher food costs very problematic," said Scott DeFife, the NRA's executive vice president for policy and government affairs. "A majority of restaurant operators identified increasing food costs as their No. 1 business challenge at the beginning of 2012, while the drought and other factors throughout the year have resulted in further concerns about skyrocketing food prices and dwindling supply."

"Moving forward, we are hopeful that Congress will perform a full evaluation of the RFS and its effect on consumers, businesses and the overall economy," DeFife added.

In a letter sent to the EPA Oct. 4, the NRA and nearly 20 food industry groups said the decline in the corn yield has caused "virtually the entire food chain, from farm to table," to become "adversely affected by the reduced availability and increased cost of corn caused in large part by the drought, but certainly exacerbated by the [Renewable Fuel Standard]."

Out of a total 10.8 million bushels of corn harvested this year, nearly 42 percent, or 4.5 million bushels, has been designated for the production of ethanol.

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