The Daily Show's Samantha Bee recently had a hilarious take-down of the pesticide lobby that you won't want to miss. Here's The Daily Show's description:
"I don't know about you, but I've just about had it with these godless liberals and their hoity-toity organic gardens. Why can't they farm with chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, hormones and antibiotics like they did in the Bible? On last night's Daily Show, Samantha Bee blew the lid of these Nazis who want to shove their shit-fertilized food down our God-fearing dioxin-coated throats."
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||M - Th 11p / 10c|
|Little Crop of Horrors|
Here's The Daily Green's April 17 report on the issue:
Pesticide makers are upset with Michelle Obama. They are offended. Possibly even scared.
In a letter, Mid America CropLife Association, an industry association representing more than 60 companies, sought to school the First Lady in the history of American agriculture, with a focus on how technology has increased yields:
"Over time, Americans were able to leave the time-consuming demands of farming to pursue new interests and develop new abilities. Today, an average farmer produces enough food to feed 144 Americans who are living longer lives than many of their ancestors. Technology in agriculture has allowed for the development of much of what we know and use in our lives today. 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?
"We live in a very different world than that of our grandparents. Americans are juggling jobs with the needs of children and aging parents. 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...
"As you go about planning and planting the White House garden, we respectfully encourage you to recognize the role conventional agriculture plays in the U.S in feeding the ever-increasing population, contributing to the U.S. economy and providing a safe and economical food supply. America's farmers understand crop protection technologies are supported by sound scientific research and innovation."
What has the pesticide industry concerned about a little old garden? Perhaps, it's because for about 50 years or so, the agribusiness industry has had a stranglehold on Washington D.C., and this organic garden is a small, but symbolic sign of change. As Michelle Obama told Oprah Winfrey:
"We want to use it as a point of education, to talk about health and how delicious it is to eat fresh food, and how you can take that food and make it part of a healthy diet. You know, the tomato that's from your garden tastes very different from one that isn't. And peas -- what is it like to eat peas in season? So we want the White House to be a place of education and awareness. And hopefully kids will be interested because there are kids living here."
It's worth noting that the pesticide industry letter was unyieldingly mild and respectful (contrary to what you might think, having heard the vocal backlash from the sustainable agriculture community). The letter ends with an invitation to contact the group with any questions. Here are some ideas for questions Mrs. Obama might ask.
Why is the industry fighting so hard to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from screening chemicals currently in use for their potential to disrupt the endocrine system, a particular concern because even minute amounts of certain chemicals can wreak havoc on a body's reproduction and development, since the body can be tricked into treating these synthetic chemicals like hormones. The EPA is finally -- after years of delay -- moving forward with a plan to screen 64 chemicals, much to the chagrin of your organization.
The pesticide industry has been working for years on its own "education" programs. Is one garden, even a high profile garden like this, really such a threat to your "outreach" efforts?
Isn't a global increase of $52 billion in your business in 2008 enough that you can leave one garden well enough alone?
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