Articles about the Monsanto Protection Act continue to achieve viral status online. The GMO seeds and GMO ingredients legislation has prompted outrage by organic food activists, farmers, the homesteading community, and a host of celebrities. President Barack Obama promised during a 2007 Iowa speech that he would make sure that Americans would know what went into our food; he even went so far as to call food labeling a right.
President Obama’s thoughts on GMO crops must have “evolved” significantly in the matter of just a few years. His support of the biotech rider on HR 933 paints a very hypocritical portrait of the president. Since the Commander in Chief signed the Monsanto Protection Act into law, that must mean he feels genetically modified ingredients, seeds, and crops are entirely safe for both humans and animals to consume.
Just a few months after then-candidate Obama said he would make sure Americans would be aware of what went into the food that covered our dinner plates, Michelle Obama launched her anti-obesity and healthy eating campaign. Did Mrs. Obama become a cheerleader for GMO crops? No. She became a staunch advocate for organic food. Even in the best of marriages husband and wife do not always agree, or possess crystal clear communication skills. But, when you are the first family of the United States, your every utterance is highly scrutinized and becomes a part of the public discussion.
While the couple appeared to be on the same page about healthy and safe food choices, the signing of the Monsanto Protection Act seems to indicate that either their paths have diverged or they are both hypocrites. In a twisted act of irony, the same day President Obama signed the GMO ingredients bill, he was likely served organic tomatoes and lettuce in his White House salad.
Michelle Obama’s signature cause is healthy eating, yet the HR 933 biotech rider which essentially allows Monsanto and Dupont carte blanche, carries her husband’s signature. The bee hives and organic garden Mrs. Obama created on the White House lawn were the first time growing activity had occurred since Eleanor Roosevelt’s era.
Earlier press reports indicate that Michelle Obama instructed cooks in the White House kitchen to purchase only organic food for the First Family’s meals. Crops and honey from the First Lady’s South Lawn garden were reportedly even served at several state dinners. Mrs. Obama’s book, American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America illustrates the First Family’s supposed commitment to organic food.
While visiting a non-profit center in New York, Michelle Obama heaped praise upon the menu creators for serving unprocessed and fresh food to needy families. During a speech in front of Department of Agriculture staffers, the First Lady stated that she is a “big believer” in community gardens that offer fresh fruits and vegetables in America and around the world.
Michelle Obama had this to say about the food she chooses to serve to her daughters:
“Well, if it tastes like a real carrot and it’s really sweet, they’re going to think that it’s a piece of candy. So my kids are more inclined to try different vegetables if they’re fresh and local and delicious. And you start reading the labels and you realize there’s high-fructose corn syrup in everything we’re eating. Every jelly, every juice. Everything that’s in a bottle or a package is like poison in a way that most people don’t even know. Now we’re keeping, like, a bowl of fresh fruit in the house.”
During the first large White House gathering the Obamas hosted, the First Lady opted to serve organic wine. All of these actions appear to indicate that the Obamas are totally committed to consuming only healthy organic food – until it came time to review the Monsanto Protection Act. Did President Obama not read the bill before he signed it? Not surprisingly former Monsanto company employees have been placed in key positions at the FDA and USDA during the president’s term in office.
The FDA Deputy Commissioner is none other than former Monsanto Public Policy Vice President Michael Taylor. USDA Commissioner Tom Vilsack was given the Governor of the Year Award by the Biotechnology Industry Organization – Monsanto leaders were on the group’s board. President Obama nominated Elena Kagan to the US Supreme Court. While serving as a federal solicitor general, Kagan argued in support of Monsanto in front of the Supreme Court during the Monsanto vs. Geertson seed case. Monsanto has also exercised their deep pockets when it comes time to donate to political campaigns.
Thanks to her husband’s support of the Monsanto Protection Act, Michelle and the girls will be munching on genetically modified broccoli one day soon.