Powerful interests often find themselves in the position where they do not care–they don’t have to. The nation’s ethanol industry may be in just such a position when it comes to concerns that the distiller’s grains it produces increases e coli O157H7 in cattle.

At least that’s the impression one gets from reading "Distillers grain link to E coli disputed" in the Council Bluffs, Iowa Daily Nonpareil.  The article sought the ethanol industry’s response to research by Kansas State University and the University of Nebraska that concluded cattle that were fed distillers grain, an ethanol byproduct, had increased levels of E coli 0157H7 bacteria in their hindgut over cattle fed regular corn.

Doug Archer, general manager of Green Plains Renewable Energy, first said ethanol producers haven’t received the studies.   The Nonpareil reports:

"We’re in a fairly young industry. At this point there’s only concern. I’m sure the appropriate agencies will investigate and determine if there is a link between E coli and distillers grain," said Archer.

As far as the distillers grains manufactured at GPRE, Archer said they do a fair amount of testing and meet all the regulated guidelines.

"We’ve gone through the right processes and have worked with scientists and animal nutritionists. I don’t see how there is any kind of health threat."

Archer continued to say until a link is found, there’s no cause for alarm.

"When it is found out, it’ll certainly be dealt with."

Check out the complete story here.