Smithfield Foods CEO C. Larry Pope had ethanol on his mind last week.

Twice he denounced the federal government's policy of setting aside about 30 percent of the corn crop to create the alternative fuel. Both times, he used the same analogy.

"For goodness' sake, you don't burn the floors in your house for heat in the wintertime," he said Tuesday during a conference call about first-quarter earnings. "Yes, your floors will work well to heat your house, but it's not an economical way to heat your home for very long."

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