PITTSBURG, Texas – Lonnie “Bo” Pilgrim, chairman of Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., has urged other food company executives to support Texas Governor Rick Perry’s request for a waiver on a portion of the Renewable Fuels Standard.

The governor has said the standard, which requires the use of a set percentage of the U.S. corn crop in ethanol, has damaged the state’s economy and driven up global food prices.

Pilgrim sent a letter on Monday urging other executives to offer public comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) supporting Perry through the “Food Before Fuel” Web site at www.foodb4fuel.com.

“The cost of corn has tripled in the just last two years thanks to the government’s ill-advised policy of converting corn to ethanol,” said Pilgrim. “As food company executives, we believe it’s time for the government to come to its senses and stop the dangerous practice of using our food supply to produce motor fuel.”

Pilgrim’s Pride is one of several chicken producers that have been forced to cut production because of rising feed costs.

The National Chicken Council (NCC) has also given its support to the waiver.

“In our view, the Renewable Fuel Standard has distorted the market and has imposed severe economic harm on companies in our industry through dramatically higher input costs and is imposing harm on the general public in the form of higher prices, present or impending, for food products,” NCC President George Watts said in a letter to the EPA.