The American Meat Institute (AMI) and a coalition of farm and food trade associations has filed a lawsuit today in federal court to overturn the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recent decision to allow gasoline with 15% ethanol (E15) to be sold for cars manufactured in the 2007 model year or later.

The crux of the lawsuit is the coalition’s objection to the EPA’s decision on the grounds that granting a “partial waiver” of the Clean Air Act and allowing E15 to be used only in cars built after model year 2006 is not within the agency’s legal authority. The petitioners argue that the EPA administrator may only grant a waiver for a new fuel additive if it “will not cause or contribute to a failure of any emission control device or system.”

“Corn prices have increased since USDA released estimates that corn production for this year was going to be 3.4% less than 2009,” says AMI President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle. “This will put pressure on the meat and poultry supply, which will lead to higher food prices for consumers. For those consumers worried about climbing food prices, this decision will increase the amount of corn being diverted to our gas tanks and away from meat and poultry production. It’s unfortunate that EPA acted hastily and approved the use of E15, and now the American consumer will pay for it at the grocery store.”