From Dr. Mercola:
The Iowa caucuses will be held in February 2016, which is sure to bring corn to the forefront of the presidential campaigns. Iowa is the leading producer of both corn and ethanol and, as The New York Times, pointed out:1
“Modern tradition holds that you can’t win Iowa (first in the nation!) without selling your soul on ethanol.”
Surveys suggest the majority of Iowa caucus goers support The Renewable Fuel Standard, which requires oil companies to increase ethanol in gasoline from 9 billion gallons in 2008 to 36 billion gallons in 2022.
This includes 77 percent of Democratic caucus goers and 61 percent of Republicans, according to The Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa Poll.2
Support for the mandate continues even as it becomes clear the amount of corn required to meet this mandate, and the natural habitats that will be further lost to support it, will devastate the environment. Still, as NPR put it, there are signs that “ethanol is not the campaign force it once was.”3
Monsanto’s Corn is Devastating U.S. Prairies
Nearly 90 million acres of corn crops were planted in the U.S. in 2015.4 What could the U.S. possibly do with that much corn? It’s far too much for making corn on the cob and popcorn, and even for feeding livestock (although the latter is still a major use for U.S.-grown corn).
The No. 1 use for corn from 2010-2012 was actually not for food at all, but rather for fuel. The U.S. “green energy” policy requires oil companies to blend corn ethanol into their gasoline.
Corn crops are already subsidized by the U.S. government, so between subsidies and rising ethanol-driven prices, corn has become quite a cash crop for farmers.
But this ‘green energy’ program is backfiring because there’s nothing ‘green’ about planting a mega-surplus of corn, especially when natural prairies are now being sacrificed to do it.
U.S. prairies are being wiped out so fast to plant neat rows of corn and soybeans that some ecologists say they’re now among the most threatened ecosystems on Earth — even more so than tropical rain forests. In Minnesota, for instance, only 1 percent of the original prairie remains untouched.5
Farmers have much incentive to plow up their grassy fields in favor of genetically engineered corn, and little incentive to preserve it as is. As reported by the Star Tribune:6
” new varieties of genetically modified corn and soybeans have allowed farmers to push the Corn Belt westward, planting row crops on land once better suited to grazing cattle.
Today, that tough prairie sod doesn’t have to be plowed, just planted. The new corn and soybean seeds are immune to Roundup; farmers can kill the native grasses with the herbicide, then plant right over them.
The natural events — heavy spring rains and bone-dry summers — that are a part of life in the Dakotas might have made farmers more cautious, despite the new seed varieties.
But today federally