White House pressured Vilsack to approve GMO alfalfa, media reports suggest (by Tom Philpott – Grist)Excerpt: In The Wall Street Journal, Bill Tomson and Scott Kilman -- two well-connected, veteran ag-policy reporters -- directly tied the decision to the White House. Kilman and Tomson wrote: “The Obama administration Thursday abandoned a proposal to restrict planting of genetically engineered alfalfa, the latest rule-making proposal shelved as part of the administration's review of "burdensome" regulation.” [Emphasis added.] And in a recent spirited puff piece on David Axelrod -- until last Friday Obama's top political strategist -- New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd revealed that genetically modified alfalfa got play at the cabinet level. Axelrod, presumably no agronomy expert, evidently argued against placing restrictions on GM alfalfa. "The avid punster offered a parting pun at the 8:30 a.m. meeting," Dowd gushed: Axelrod urged "everyone to 'plow forward' on a plan for genetically produced alfalfa."