Spain's leading biofuels federation has moved to silence critics who claim that increasing biofuel production is responsible for rising food prices in the country.

The Asociacion de Energias Renovables (APPA) said soaring demand for foodstuffs in China and India and a series of droughts were the reasons for food inflation.

"The rise in cereal prices and basic food is not being caused by the biofuels industry but by uneven supply and demand dynamics in raw materials, bad harvests (caused by droughts in producing nations), a sharp rise in demand from China and India and speculation in the international cereal markets," APPA said.

The Madrid-based body also pointed to "a lack of harvestable land stemming from Europe's CAP."
APPA's president Roderic Miralles added: "How could we be at fault if bioethanol production only consumes 1.6% of Europe's cereal production and the soft wheat used to make it is not used for bread?"

Miralles' comments come as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) raised alarms earlier this week by saying the biofuels rush threatens food shortages, could damage biodiversity and will have questionable energy benefits.

The Spanish bread industry has asked the government to help stem cereal prices, which have risen 40% in the past quarter.