If “Plant Science Innovations” Are So Superior, Why Are Their Advocates Threatened by an 1100 sq ft Garden?

May 1, 2009 at 11:45 am 1 comment

It seems that Michelle Obama’s Whitehouse garden is making some people nervous. How could someone else’s organic garden cause mental distress, you ask? It does if you’ve spent a lot of time and pr money convincing people that your way is better. La Vida Locavore leaked a very interesting correspondence that I’ve just stumbled upon:

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.

They then encouraged others to write similar letters of protest to the Whitehouse, to make sure that their voices were heard. (Croplife is “the trade association representing the manufacturers, developers and distributors of plant science innovations – pest control products and plant biotechnology[GMO]- for use in agriculture, urban and public health settings”)

A copy of the letter can be found here, but here are some delightful excerpts:

The time needed to tend a garden is not there for the majority of our citizens, certainly not a garden of sufficient productivity to supply much of a family’s year-round food needs.

* Once we put in the initial time to prepare the soil and get our plants in, we spent two days weeding in the entire season. Because we drought-proofed our plants, the only other work we had to do was harvesting, which certainly took less time than a grocery trip.

Much of the food considered not wholesome or tasty is the result of how it is stored or prepared rather than how it is grown. Fresh foods grown conventionally are wholesome and flavourful yet more economical. Local and conventional farming is not mutually exclusive. However, a Midwest mother whose child loves strawberries, a good source of Vitamin C, appreciates the ability to offer California strawberries in March a few months before the official Mid-west season.

* when food is picked before it is ripe and shipped across the country/continent/planet, how can it possibly be expected to be as flavourful and nutritious as fresh food? And the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers definitely effects the taste. Ask nik, who spent the summer munching on broccoli in the garden after decades of hating the taste

* Vegetable costs in Canada have risen 26% in the last year. With the fossil fuels used in factory farms, the cost of food is tied to the rising cost of oil

* California strawberries may be high in vitamin C, but the convenience of off-season strawberries comes with a cost: The plants are doused with Bromomethane, a chemical that has been banned for most other uses because it depletes the ozone, and can cause respiratory, kidney, and neurologic issues. Delicious!

And my favourite:

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

A little exaggerated, non? Granted, my garden is a choice and not a necessity, but do they honestly think that growing my own food is going to stop me from making an impact in the world? For shame.

Memo to Croplife:
The point. I think you missed it.


Entry filed under: Food, Garden, Uncategorized.

Because everyone loves cartoons… The WHO Farm Project

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Food Standards, eh? « Living Lime  |  August 1, 2009 at 2:11 am

    […] I could have made a terrible environmentally conscious decision if you hadn’t opened my eyes (again)! Eat […]


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