Chemical ag group upset about White House organic garden

Jill Richardson reported at La Vida Locavore that a group promoting the use of chemicals in agriculture is lobbying First Lady Michelle Obama not to make the White House garden organic. They want the White House to "consider using crop protection products and to recognize the importance of agriculture to the entire U.S. economy."

Jill posted the full text of the Mid America CropLife Association's letter to the first lady.

It's notable that conventional farming advocates were unconcerned about First Lady Laura Bush's insistence that White House chefs cook with organic food. Former executive chef Walter Scheib wrote that Mrs. Bush was "adamant that in ALL CASES if an organic product was available it was to be used in place of a non-organic product." It's fine for the Bushes to be closet organic eaters, but very different for the Obamas to promote growing food without pesticides or herbicides. I think Americans will be surprised by how much one organic garden can produce.

More important, as Think Progress noted, the Bush administration's agriculture policies repeatedly sought to water down organic standards. That hurts organic growers, not conventional growers. It remains to be seen how far President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will go in rewriting organic regulations. If I were the Mid America CropLife Association, I would probably also be trying to assure the first lady not to fear chemical-based "crop protection technologies."

Anyone with an interest in food or agriculture policy should bookmark La Vida Locavore and check it regularly.

Tags: agriculture policy, industrial agriculture, local foods, Michelle Obama, organic farming, sustainable agriculture (all tags)

Comments

3 Comments

ObamaOrganicGardenFertilizer

Unlike most of us with our organic gardening fertilizer needs, the Obamas are fortunate in that they will have an ulimited supply of manure available from just up the road on Capital Hill.

by TJ1 2009-03-29 09:59AM | 0 recs
White House garden

 MON (Monsanto Company) Comman Stock has been showing support around $76.61 and resistance in the $87.92 range. It is rated buy with the $102.69 target price in six months. If the Obama's were to plant Roundup-Ready Corn in their garden and use the recommended dosage of Roundup herbicide, not only will they cut down on the chore of pulling weeds but the publicity could add a few bucks to MON's upside. Win-Win.

by QTG 2009-03-30 05:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Chemical ag group upset

I think planting an organic garden is an excellent example to America.  I wish our government would make it a priority to turn back the clock on the Bush administration's regulations, but with companies like Monsanto influencing the cabinet is unlikely.

Instead I wish there was more encouragement to increase organic farming practices so that it would cost less for individuals who decide that ingesting produce & other food items not treated with toxic chemicals is actually important. We need to get this country on course and away from thinking that buying organic is a luxury. Food is not a luxury and the idea that this is something that is acceptable to skimp on is horrifying. My grocery bills are outrageous b/c I actually choose to eat in a healthy manner - a manner most people don't even attempt although our standards are so low they probably think they are.  If government could treat this as the public health issue that it is, perhaps the perception towards what is healthy will change and America will begin the ascent to better health.

by jrsygrl 2009-03-30 08:16AM | 0 recs

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