Pesticide Lobby Bugged by Michelle Obama’s White House Organic Garden

flotus gardenAre you worried that an organic garden on the White House grounds might cause some Americans to start eating a wide variety of chemical-free, locally grown produce? The Mid America CropLife Association, a lobbying group for agribusinesses giants, is.

Just a few days after Michelle Obama invited local fifth graders to help plant the White House Kitchen Garden, the MACA, a group which represents and is comprised of former executives from Dow AgroSciences, Monsanto and DuPont Crop Protection, sent the White House a letter (which can be viewed in its entirety here) expressing their disappointment that she had not “recognize[d] the role conventional agriculture plays in the US.”

But that’s not all. The group went on to provide a dose of propaganda educational information, including little known fact that “technology allows for farmers to meet the increasing demand for food and fiber in a sustainable manner.” Drawing a clear line between technology, undefined, and sustainability does not, in the strictest terms, suggest the group’s total disapproval of organic farming methods.

That outright statement came in an email MACA sent their members shortly after sending the first lady aforementioned letter, in which they said that the idea of an organic garden “made Janet Braun, CropLife Ambassador Coordinator and I shudder.” [italics mine].

MACA also informed Michelle Obama of the apparent causality between agricultural engineering and national pre-eminence in just about every field:

If Americans were still required to farm to support their family’s basic food and fiber needs, would the US have been leaders in the advancement of science, communication, education, medicine, transportation and the arts?

At least one group is reacting to the new War on Homegrown Tarragon.

Quickly responding to MACA’s below the beltway tactics, Credo, the mobile phone company founded on the principle of social responsibility, has launched a campaign asking concerned citizens to “Tell the Pesticide Peddlers: We support Michelle Obama’s organic garden.”

How ungrateful of Credo, which evidently fails to realize that, were it not for the “advancement in…communication” made possible by agricultural engineering, they would not even exist.

Photo Credit: White House blog

  1. Yuriko Howell


    Going organic or using man-made pesticides is a choice, like most things are in this country. Personally, I try to buy organic whenever possible. It would be awesome if the companies that sell pesticides take some energy to re-invent themselves and provide organic products in addition to what they have on the market today.

  2. Holly Forrest

    I’m shuddering, but it’s not from anything the First Lady is doing.

    These pesticide companies are a pestilence.

    I love your characterizing it as the War on Homegrown Tarragon.

    Keep on blogging for sustainable, safe living!

  3. Ben

    OK, I don’t believe that the Obamas can possibly represent EVERYONE’S Interests in America, whether it be commercial, non-commercial, personal or communal. The Obamas made the garden with the sole concept of eating healthily. Why do these corporations have to take it as a slap to their face, I simply do not know. It’s as good as saying that if the Obamas are rightly telling their daughters that it is bad to smoke, that it is a slap to the faces of the cigarette/tobacco corporations.

    Get a grip, and don’t be so sensitive!

  4. russ

    I think the organic bunch are similar to the flower children of the 60’s – bloomin idiots!

    Unless you want to go back to living in caves that is.

  5. Tom Treedle

    When you are in the lion’s den, you should not ask a lion for the way out. Don’t look to the corporations that led us into food insecurity for a solution. Good for you Michelle Obama. Follow your heart.

  6. Concetta

    I don’t think the MACA people are understanding that they’re not going to bring the people back to the 1700s by planting a garden.

    Sheesh. Talk about over-generalizing.

    I think its great that they have a garden, and that they’re teaching kids where food comes from. Maybe kids wouldn’t be so overweight if they didn’t believe that corn comes out of a bag of chips.

    Its not like everyone is going to garden and never buy food again. Most of us would starve. I’m one of those people. I can’t garden at my apartment. I don’t buy organic (excepting a few items where it really counts).

    Some of the most entertaining times when I was a child was when we planted and cared for our family garden and got fresh lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, beans and peas. It was fun!

    I put the link to the petition on my blog. What a bunch of oversensitive babies, thinking the President’s family garden is going to make everyone go back to raising their own food.

  7. Sherrie Adkins

    I raise organic and I try to buy organic. I was willing to live and let live until the started trying to outlaw organic methods. Now I think the pesticide companies executives should be tried as war criminals, as they have declared war on our health in the name of profits! They have declared war on organic farmers and gardeners, now it’s time we fought back!

  8. nadine sellers

    a shovel at a time, a seed at a time, we may assume self control, one by one to restore the balance.

    the pesticide peddlers need not worry overtime, if past observations presage the future, plenty people will run to the small bottles department for killer solutions at first sight of a (gasp) bug on their precious newborn lettuce.

    so conditioned are most gardeners that a modicum of perfection is expected in nature, fertilizers and herbicides will fly off the shelves to stave off those awful spots on the re-discovered beauty of vegetable gardening.

    it is indeed comforting to observe a prominent family promoting healthful projects. time to take responsibility.

  9. Gail Dawson

    I agree with the person who wrote that the pesticide developers would do well to take a lesson from the First Lady. They have destroyed agriculture as it has been known for thousands of years, with only an eye for their own profit. Boo Monsanto, Dow and Dupont.

    1. Richard Love

      While Michelle has her lovely organic garden for her and her family, Barack has his secretary of agriculture, Tom Vilsack(leading advocate for Monsanto), to feed the people of the U.S. Hmm…

  10. Pamela J. Betz-Baron


    That was the world’s tiniest violin playing, “My Heart Bleeds For You” to the MACA.

  11. hersh

    The percieved enemity between A and B is so completely without true cause, that it takes powerful interest groups working to sustain this enemity, for there to be continuing hostility.

    I work for a Global Chemical company, and our family is a bigg votary of the local Farmer’s market. The idea that my actions are not in the interests of my employer are ridiculous– Industry exists to provide goods and services we need, not us to buy their products. Trying to force us to buy pesticide-food, or to buy guns for that matter– Soooo unamerican!!

    (you supply the A, and will become clear– Jew and Arab, Poor and Rich, Christian and Atheist, Working and Stay-at-home, etc.)

  12. Deb

    Yay, Michelle!

    I wonder how many MACA people have relatives with nervous diseases (like Parkinson’s) possibly caused by ingesting pesticides and/or herbicides for years and years. Have you ever seen how an insect dies from pesticides? It affects their NERVOUS system.

    Organic has become a new ‘catch phrase’, when, in fact, that is how food was grown for centuries. Too bad the need for corporate profit and chemical reliance are taking over the natural order of the world.

  13. Uncle B

    Solutions less offensive and damaging to humans must be sought out! Even if a “Pesticide” were a petro-chemical product, but non-toxic to humans, I will use it! Organic gardening is so possible! we need our birds back, as predators for bugs! We will find a way to make gardening possible and productive without using products that also hurt humans, it is a matter if time and pressure, and Michelle’s garden is a good example of the kind of pressure the industry needs to feel, forcing them to do their homework, and find better, less human-toxic solutions to sell us! Not rocket science! Common sense! Now go down to your labs boys, and come up with a better idea!

  14. Wilde

    russ said on April 12th, 2009 at 3:54 am
    “I think the organic bunch are similar to the flower children of the 60’s – bloomin idiots!”

    I hope you enjoy the cloned meat and dairy the FDA has approved for sale. It should go along nicely with your genetically modified and chemically treated fruits and veggies!

    Definition – “health nut”: one who shows no concern for their most precious possession and would rather leave their well-being in the hands of their doctor.

    (The Journal of the American Medical Association, July, 2000 reported that doctors were the 3rd leading cause of death.)

  15. Paul Turner

    I find it odd that while the White House has a new organic garden, there are many upcoming food bills (S425, S510, HR 814, HR 759, and HR 875) which will guarantee we have LESS organically grown foods.

    After spending much time researching both sides of the latest “food safety” issues, it becomes clear it is not the small organic farms which are responsible. The latest rash of food bills will put many small farms out of business and add to the acreage of large industrialized(GMO)farms.

    Whether any of these Food Bills individually or collectively outright outlaw organic farming methods they certainly do NOT support organic farming and will price them out of business.
    Paul Turner

  16. Kali

    I wonder if the authors of that letter to Mrs. Obama bothered to stop and reread their missive before dropping it into post box.

    Next they’d have us all believe that organic gardening is a threat to national security, or something equally ridiculous. Maybe they and their believers, supplicating at the alter of processed food, really do worry that organic gardening on the highest level really is going drive us all back to living in caves (caves?!). But I doubt it.

    I suspect all MACA and it’s cronies are worried about is money and keeping those TV dinners flying off the shelves. And they sound like a right desperate old slapper about it. Green is the new black, MACA. You’re either going to have to get with the program or go the way of the dodo.

  17. Linda in CO

    So what they are saying, basically, is that organic gardening is Un-American? And that Michelle is giving Americans the wrong message, that pesticides are GOOD for you, additives are GOOD for you?
    I would imagine that they would get rid of all organic products and research and information if they could?

  18. Beverly Clarke

    These corporations will seize any opportunity for publicity. Once again they are showing us that like the party of “NO” they can find nothing positive to add to the conversation. Perhaps if the people speaking on behalf of these companies ate organically grown food they would remove the poisons from their systems and find something uplifting to say.

  19. Beverly McConnell

    I am one that is sensetive and allergic to pestisides and additives. I think the more natural the better. I was born in 1964 and it was also that same year that the food companies started putting all those additives in the food on the shelves, so if you look at it from my point of view…the food companies have been feeding me CRAP my whole life! I’m one who is totally sick of seeing the food, pesticides and drug companies getting away with what their doing to the food! If it’s not one company it’s another trying to shove crap down our throats and telling us “it’s good for us”. Don’t even get me started on the FDA that are SUPPOSED to be protecting americans from drugs and disease that are in our food that come from other countries! In my opinion they are doing a piss poor job! Kudos for Michelle Obama for standing her ground! I applaud her. In this particular situation, I think we need more like her instead of people just out for a buck! Thanks for listening…

  20. Diana

    Interesting to see Dupont involved in this, as they are one of the big names that coined the term Marijuana and led the way for Cannabis prohibition in this country. I love it the war on homegrown tarragon!!

  21. klaus

    At least your garden is for real.The people there look like they know what they are doing and have a real plan in mind.The man looks to be informing the kids on the soil and seed.The location seems to be free of toxins,the ground health,the kids are intelligent,and so on.This picture is only a still shot.Excuse me one of our seniors is a painter so he need to get some supplies,hell of a good man.This is getting of the suject a little but let me add to the people i have met in the senior center,For instance Doug the man i just refered to is on oxygen and can not breath well and runs out of breath has three fingers that got cut off.He gets around in one of those electris wheel chairs.He has a good sence of humer.He shoots pool,paints with all those handicaps he does not let it get him down.This is just an example of 1 of the seniors here in Issaquah.the other people in the center are all good honest hard working people and it is an honer to be a part of the center here. PS nice puppy dog you fly by and see mine in the field caughting a frezbee klaus

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *