An Open Letter to President Obama

Dear President Obama,

I have been a devoted supporter of your presidency up until now. But by allowing the complete deregulation of GMO/GE alfalfa, and now sugar beets, you have unleashed another wave of UNCONTAINABLE contamination on this planet. These toxic crops not only exist so that companies like Monsanto can make more money by selling more toxic chemicals that destroy our environment and our climate, but also the human diseases that these chemicals cause are at the root of the health issues you claim are so important to you and your family, including: cancer, diabetes, obesity, autism, ADHD, childhood leukemia, organ failure, infertility, birth defects, and reduced intelligence.

I am extremely disappointed that you gave in to the bullying of Monsanto and its legion of lobbyists, all paid for by the corrupt subsidies of the American Farm Bill.

If you really want to create jobs, support organic farmers. If you really want to lower taxes, support organic farmers. If you really want to improve the health of people and the planet, support organic farmers. If you really care about developing a healthy, smart, and educated future American population, you MUST support organic farmers. If you really want to stop climate change, support organic farmers.

What on earth were you thinking? You are obviously an intelligent man. Please develop the courage and strength that the American people require of you and make the right decisions for all of us for the long term. Ultimately, your most important job is to protect America and the American people. By deregulating GE/GMO alfalfa and sugar beets, you have failed.

Most sincerely,
Maria Rodale
CEO and Chairman of Rodale Inc.
author of Organic Manifesto: How Organic Farming Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe


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53 Responses to An Open Letter to President Obama

  1. robin February 21, 2011 at 7:43 am #

    Thanks Ms Rodale!
    We should all share this ( FB, Twitter..)

  2. Donna February 21, 2011 at 8:41 am #

    I just did, robin – I agree completely! I can’t understand where his spine went!

  3. Laura B. February 21, 2011 at 9:26 am #

    I agree. Perhaps the theory that modern presidents are merely puppets/frontmen is true.

    Thank you for doing this!

  4. Laura B. February 21, 2011 at 9:31 am #

    By the way, did anyone see this report of increased beak deformities in birds? first thing that came to my mind was GMO contamination.

  5. Connie Biemiller Thomas February 21, 2011 at 10:12 am #

    Awesome letter Maria. Could you say a little more in laymen’s terms why this deregulation is so harmful with regard to the two plant foods. I have an a group on Fb – Environmental Neighbor and want to post your letter and a little education with it. I am an environmental activist due to my community being poisoned with a toxic pesticide in 2006 and woke up to all things organic after that – thanks for all you do.

  6. maria (farm country kitchen) February 21, 2011 at 10:29 am #

    Thanks Connie, in as simple terms as possible, all GMO’s are dangerous and unsafe for the following reasons:
    1. They have never officially been tested on human health, and once released into the environment, can not be removed.
    2. What human health tests there are show very significant and negative effects.
    3. The primary reason crops are “GMO’d” is to enable farmers to spread even MORE toxic chemicals on their crops. And we know for a fact that those chemicals are toxic to humans.

    For lots more info, read my book, Organic Manifesto! Thanks and happy Presidents Day everyone.

  7. Connie Biemiller Thomas February 21, 2011 at 10:35 am #

    Maria – thanks so much – I will post this along with your book. Please feel free to join the group as well. Connie

  8. injoytroye (troye) February 21, 2011 at 10:42 am #

    Well said! Thank you.

  9. maria (farm country kitchen) February 21, 2011 at 10:45 am #

    I also forgot to add: If you want to reduce the federal budget deficit DEMAND ORGANIC!

  10. Joshua Scott Onysko February 21, 2011 at 10:48 am #


  11. Robin @ Seasons Eatings Farm February 21, 2011 at 11:42 am #

    Obana invited Micheal Taylor, formerly of Monsanto, in. I don’t think he was bullied. I think this was the plan from the start. He waited patiently to launch the GE bombs. Small farmers were tossed a pittance with the high tunnel program. That gave me hope. Large agribusiness didn’t get a pittance, it got the prize. I didn’t vote for him and won’t vote for him next time.

  12. Theresa February 21, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

    This was an excellent letter. It said everything that needed to be said — and said it briefly.

    The fact that you were until now a “devoted supporter”, probably gives it more credibility since he seems to disregard information from anyone who has opposed him.

    I am unsure — even with the Rodale name on your side — if your letter will make a difference. Nonetheless, it needed to be said for the record, if nothing else.

    And by the way, I think your Grandfather would be extremely pleased.

    Thank you for your efforts. Please continue to use your position to make a difference.

    Best regards,

  13. Bill February 21, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

    Well said Maria.

    I’ve read one way the transgenic corporations, with the help of the USDA, are hoping to get acceptance of GE seeds and plants is by forcing the issue via cross-contamination with conventional plants. Once it has begun, it can never be undone.

    And, there’s this frightening revelation: USDA Fully Deregulates GE ‘Ethanol Corn’ ( ) with it’s potential for disaster. “The corn is genetically engineered to produce an enzyme that speeds the breakdown of starch into sugarThe corn is genetically engineered to produce an enzyme that speeds the breakdown of starch into sugar”

    And to Connie Biemiller Thomas – try reading this great piece by Dr. David Suzuki: The trouble with Monsanto and GMO – Dr David Suzuki spells it out ( ). He does an excellent job breaking it down in simple terms.

  14. Gail Gordon Oliver February 21, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

    Maria, what a beautifully written and succinct letter. It reflects all of my own thoughts about Obama over the last several weeks.

    I’m a Canadian who is appalled by the eagerness of both the U.S. and Canadian governments to cave in to the lobbying (and payoffs?) of monstrous agribusiness and approve GE crops, seemingly without serious thought to the after-effects.

    The approval of GM alfalfa in the U.S. (it’s not yet been approved in Canada) will have grave consequences for organic cattle and dairy producers here across the border, too. Birds, bees and wind do not stop at border crossings.

    Let’s keep up the pressure, folks. As has been seen of late, if enough people rise up, change can happen.

    Gail Gordon Oliver
    Publisher and Editor
    Edible Toronto magazine

  15. Patrice February 21, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    Thank you.

  16. Sandy Fisher February 21, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

    Hello Maria,
    Thank you so much for your great letter to Obama . Rossie and I voted for him so when we included ourselves on your letter to him 10 days ago, we hoped that would be enough it wasnt and we are sick. Monsanto has bought 16-20 seed companies around the world, how could that be legal ? The amount of Round-up ready crops is reallly sad and hopeless for the enviroment . We saw huge fields in Argentina near were a cousin has a ranch and big sprayers that were spraying road banks to plant in corn and soybeans. keep it up what more can we do ? my best – Sandy Fisher Brookview Farm

  17. Bea Rigsby-Kunz February 21, 2011 at 1:03 pm #

    Thank you Maria,

    You have garnered all my words and thoughts into a well written letter.

    I will be so pleased to share this with my mailing list, on my website, blog, and at every speaking opportunity I have.

    My family is devoted to organic, sustainable, chemical free food and environment…we too feel totally lied to and our trust used against us.

    If these actions are not reversed, the future voting choices will be a moot point…we will all be too busy just surviving the fallout of this decision.

    I have never been more disappointed or disgusted with a presidents actions. I pray he will undo this horrible action , either through his own conscious or through pressure from “We” the people.

    Bea Rigsby-Kunz
    Owner-Sage Hill Farms
    ( Advocate for Truth In Labeling )

    Anyone, feel free to join my mission in fighting for “Truth Labeling.”

    Every voive counts.

  18. maria (farm country kitchen) February 21, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

    Sandy! Is it really you?! Thanks for your support. Would be great to reconnect.

  19. Chris February 21, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    well said!

  20. Larry Saltzman February 21, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    Great letter! Let’s keep up the pressure!

  21. James Early February 21, 2011 at 1:59 pm #

    Thanks for saying what so many of us are feeling. My big question is: How can we get the President’s ear so he will actually hear what you are saying? Maybe through his wife?

  22. Shodo Spring February 21, 2011 at 2:10 pm #

    Thank you for this letter.

    It appears that Obama, like Clinton before him (and the Republicans), is a wholly-owned puppet of agribusiness and oil. It makes me sad; I’d hoped for better. I still think he probably means well, but the actions are unmistakeable and unacceptable.

    We need to do something that does not depend on them. I do not know what that is, but currently Egypt and Wisconsin offer inspiration for standing up for ourselves.

  23. clo reedy February 21, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    NICE WORK……check out and see if you like

  24. Mark W. Richmond February 21, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

    Listen up Mr. President, what she is telling you is the truth. I too can see how easily you have changed under pressure. It’s just good old back to American Politics and more deception.

  25. Ann February 21, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

    Great letter, BRAVO! I am writing to President Obama, too, and will display similar letters for kids and parents to sign at our Earth Day festival in April.
    Sadly, while Michelle Obama is leading the nation by example by growing an organic garden in the back yard of the White House, her husband is busy betraying us by letting GMOs come in the front door!

  26. Lacy February 21, 2011 at 5:00 pm #


  27. Shodo Spring February 21, 2011 at 5:57 pm #

    How do I stop getting comments? I actually have a life outside this website. Sorry.

  28. glenn Page February 21, 2011 at 7:10 pm #

    There is no question Obama supports middle income earners and safe good foods. He is doing the best he can. Who did well in the last election??

  29. Bob Goggins February 21, 2011 at 8:08 pm #

    Your words cannot ring truer. I was so hopeful that finally we might have someone at the helm with slightly more than a vacant cavity between their ears. I’m afraid it’s not to be. I wasted yet another vote for a mere puppet. This Monsanto abomination needs to be stopped. Looks like we will have to resort to burning fields of alfalfa at this point. Can there really be human beings making these insane decisions for our future. Your father and grandfather would be as appalled as we are…to be sure. I will not give up hope but this is so discouraging. Thanks you for writing your letter. You are much too polite all things considered!
    Bob – Reader of OGF since 1970

  30. VeryTruly February 21, 2011 at 8:14 pm #

    Totally unbelievable fear mongering. I’d bet a paycheck this same woman was on the “childhood vaccines cause autism” bandwagon! I’d bet she implored people to reject the horrifying threat of nuclear energy in the 1970’s…though even hard-nuts enviro’s now recognize its merits in producing relatively clean energy with no CO2 output. GMO’s are the new boogie man for the unshaven earth-mothers you really don’t want to sit next to in a subway (stinkies).

  31. LBarnett February 21, 2011 at 8:33 pm #

    All the people who have decided to never vote for our current President again becuase he has not found in your favor on a particular issue, who will you vote for. Certainly not the people who have made quite clear that they have no qualms about EPA regulations; mountain topping coal mining; endangered species; or any number of other issues, about which you cwertainly wouldnot vote for the other party.

    So who ya gonna vote for………???

  32. maria (farm country kitchen) February 21, 2011 at 8:50 pm #

    For the record “very truly”, I was never on the bandwagon about vaccines causing autism. Quite the contrary, actually. And please, keep your personal insults about whether or not I shave (I do) to yourself.

    Thank you.

  33. Julie February 22, 2011 at 12:56 am #

    Well said, Maria! I thought Obama would actually be the one president to stop this kind of behavior, not condone it. I guess there will always have to be someone fighting for what’s truly right for the environment, so I truly appreciate everything you do, Maria. You remind me to keep on fighting.

  34. Laura B. February 22, 2011 at 9:15 am #

    LBarnett, Seems it’s the lesser of 2 evils anymore. We need other choices than the 2 current corrupted parties. I vote Green & Independent, depending on the candidates. The Tea party got noticed (& hijacked by the Republicans). Let’s get other parties noticed. The media won’t help us, WE have to do it. It’s a small step towards change, but it HAS to start somewhere.

  35. Laura B. February 22, 2011 at 9:21 am #

    @ VeryTruly, I guess you believe everything your government tells you? They take CARE of us!
    The government & corporations & industries are our friends, right? They really, really CARE about us people and only have our best interest at heart. Like BP cleaned up ALL the oil. And 4 out of 5 doctors smoke Camels. Everything’s fine, really. No poisons or contaminants in our food, no salmonella. Believe that fairy tale? Time to grow up.

  36. K B Knudsen February 22, 2011 at 11:05 am #

    Maria, thank you for writing this excellent letter. We loyal fans of Rodale for so many years count on you to speak Truth. Namaste

  37. Myra February 22, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    Maria, you are so right. We must remember his campaign promises, “change, change, change”. He really never told us WHAT CHANGE he wanted.
    And, he is not listening. He is making the changes that he wants, never mind his electorate. He knows what he is doing with the people he appoints to positions of responsibility. He chooses those who agree with his agenda, of course. That is what most presidents do.

    I have sent letters, too, to the leaders, but what good does it do? nil.
    Just buy organic and grow organic.
    GMOs, Pesticides, Herbicides

  38. C Loughrin February 22, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    Thank you for your letter.

    I look around me… I see a cancer center on every corner, Pink Outs sponsored by Diet Coke, Fast Food Companies, etc. What I see is America consuming “non-foods” which stave off hunger until we fall to disease. Seems a serious violation of promoting “the common good”…Yet another violation of our core democratic values.

  39. Donna in Delaware February 23, 2011 at 3:16 pm #


  40. Mike Lieberman February 24, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

    Great letter Maria. Need people like you reaching out to the powers that be to voice our concerns.

    Unfortunately Obama is like all the other politicians and hasn’t brought about much change like he promised. Same ol. Same ol.

    Thanks for making your voice heard for the community.

  41. myra February 24, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

    I am not a member of the tea bagers, but I just learned that they have an April 15th. project going to get the attention of our political leaders. It is pretty mild, but noticable.

  42. lauri February 25, 2011 at 4:14 am #

    We need to organize a march on Washington, one that will command media attention. So many people are oblivious to the presence and the extent of GMOs in our food supply. We need to wake people up.

  43. Myra February 25, 2011 at 11:04 am #

    To Lauri:
    More suggestions for those too far from Washington. Maybe we need a new version of the Tea Party, that targets this issue.

    Do you have a blog? Post an article and forward your blog link to everyone you know.

    Look at my blog. I have a long “to-do” list to choose from. Send my lint to everyone that you know. I have targeted food manufacturers, also. The politicians are not listening.

    Send Maria’s link also.


  44. Karen February 26, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

    Bravo Maria! When Michelle Obama planted her organic garden, I actually started to hope…. and then of course found out that “organic” is a dirty word in Washington DC. When I take my disillusionment down to its source, it’s really the fact that we women have not risen up and taken control of our fates. This world has been run by men for much too long!

  45. Linda February 26, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    Also in agreement about dissapointment over the GM crops being allowed to cause so many difficulties. Having little trust in politicians, I have to say that I’m not suprized about this decision, but it certainly is counter to certain ideals that President Obama seemed to support. Living in sugar beet growing country, I understand and symphasize with the farmers, however, I also believe that the damage GM sugar beets can create is irreversible and needs to be discontinued. People need to better educate themselves on the consequences of genetically modified crops.

  46. Leigh February 28, 2011 at 9:04 pm #

    He has never had spine! He was just well spoken and we so wanted change! It is unfortunate that he was the best alternative!

  47. Myra March 1, 2011 at 12:23 pm #

    Leigh, apparantely he was not the best. He never was clear about what changes he had in mind. I cannot imagine any of the others doing things this badly to our country and giving such pressure on the world to go along with the plans.

    So, now that we are in this mess, we must concentrate on what we can do.
    Shop organic and work hard to get the producers of non-gmo to label their foods since the GMO people refuse to allow their labels.

    I have a to-do list on my blog.
    GMOs, Pesticides, Herbicides

  48. UTPP March 2, 2011 at 1:38 am #

    Obama is the front man for the elite bankers, financiers, and political class that control the giant global corporations like Monsanto. It was they that put him in the White House. He was never concerned for your health, wealth, or liberty. He has a specific job, and that is to deceive and distract while the powers that be complete the framework for the New World Order. An order that only concerns itself with its own power and Control. Wake up people!

  49. April March 2, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

    You totally rock Maria!! Thank you so much! That is well written! Come on hope and change!!

  50. Debra March 2, 2011 at 4:35 pm #

    We are STILL living to our 80’s. With that shift of 15+ yrs. how are we going to continue to keep people off of the streets? Hungry and poor. Yeah, let’s extend our lives and then live in atmospheres of hell. We need to just do our time and then step aside and let the following generations enjoy what we have all had for what is called LIFE.

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