Friday, April 24, 2009

Reactions to the White House Organic Garden

The news that first lady Michelle Obama was planting an organic garden at the White House has been met with great, but not universal, praise. The Mid America Croplife Association (MACA), an industry group representing the agribusiness and biotech giants, wrote a letter to Mrs. Obama. The letter, cosigned by Executive Director Bonnie McCarvel and Program Coordinator Janet Braun, extolled the virtues of the industry and its practices. Then, as reported by Jill Richardson in the food blog "La Vida Locavore" MACA apparently forwarded the letter to their subscribers, accompanied by the following note:

"Did you hear the news? The White House is planning to have an "organic" garden on the grounds to provide fresh fruits and vegetables for the Obama's and their guests. While a garden is a great idea, the thought of it being organic made Janet Braun, CropLife Ambassador Coordinator and I shudder. As a result, we sent a letter encouraging them to consider using crop protection products and to recognize the importance of agriculture to the entire U.S. economy."

"Crop protection products" is, of course, a euphemism for pesticides.

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