GMO Riders Could Be Back in “Fiscal Cliff” Funding Package

A must-pass funding bill may include dangerous genetic engineering provisions. Action Alert!

The Budget Control Act of 2011 goes into affect at midnight on December 31. That is the bill already passed that raises taxes and cuts the budget. Congress does not like this scenario, so it is working on an omnibus 2013 Appropriations Bill that will address tax and spending cuts before January 1.

Even though no bill has yet been introduced, if Congress and President Obama reach agreement, the bill will be rushed through. Unfortunately, we have received word from sources on Capitol Hill that the GMO bills that previously were attached to the Agriculture Appropriations Bill and the Farm Bill could be part of this package. And because it’s a must-pass funding package, any GMO rider that is included will likely become law.

These are the same GMO riders we told you about last July. Section 733 of the Agriculture Appropriations Bill (the so-called “Farmer Assurance Provision,” though one might just as well call it the “Monsanto Protection Act”) would strip federal courts of the authority to halt the sale or planting of illegal, potentially hazardous GMO crops—even if a court has told them to stop—while USDA is still assessing potential hazards. The Secretary of Agriculture must, under this provision, grant any farm operator or producer upon request a temporary permit allowing GMO crops to be planted or cultivated, even if a court has called a halt to it until an Environmental Impact Statement is completed.

This rider will almost certainly be included in the omnibus appropriations bill. The second rider, which had been attached to the Farm Bill, would outlaw any review of GE crop impacts based on the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, or any other environmental law. And no agency other than USDA would be allowed to provide analysis. Even worse, even if negative information were allowed, this would have no affect on the approval of GMO crops. It is less likely that it will be included in the funding bill, but entirely possible.

The biotechnology lobby (Monsanto et al.) is pushing these riders hard to get them folded into the last-minute funding package. Moreover, Sen. Inouye, chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, still supports the riders, even though the other senators on his committee have already expressed opposition.

While their lobbyists are working on Congress, the biotech industry continues to enforce their seed patents at the expense of small farmers. For example, DuPont is sending former police officers across North America to prevent farmers from saving the seeds from the harvest to replant the next year—despite this being a traditional farming practice. DuPont considers such practices illegal, a threat to patent protection, and in violation of their sales contract. Whether DuPont and other biotech companies will be allowed to continue taking direct action against farmers is a matter that will be considered by the Supreme Court.

Action Alert! Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) is circulating a Dear Colleague letter in the House of Representatives opposing the GMO provisions. Please contact your senators and representative immediately. Take Action Now!

Ask your representative to sign the Dear Colleague letter.

Take Action!

Ask your senators to oppose the biotech rider if the language finds its way in the fiscal package.

Take Action!


  1. NO TO GMO!!!
    The GOP wasted $300,000,000.00 trying to buy the 2012 election.
    We showed them that the Presidency was NOT for sell. It is time
    for our law makers to show that they are NOT for sale, and do
    what is correct for America and Americans and not for profit!!!

  2. Why does Monsanto have so much control over our government? Oh yes, there’s big money at stake. GMO is so against any kind of common sense even Republican mothers think its crazy. No, NO NO! If its so great, why won’t they note it anywhere on their packaging!!!!!!!!! Its just too ridiculous for words.

    1. The corporations have bought both the Democrats and the Republicans. Yet another reason I vote Green Party — They don’t accept corporate money, and they’ve been fighting these frankenfoods FOR OVER A DECADE!
      Even 2-4% of the vote for the Green Party sends a powerful message to the corporate-funded parties, because many elections are decided by less than this margin. And this message is sent even if the Green you vote for loses (you don’t get a prize if the candidate you voted for wins).

  3. We have the right to know whats in our food. All food containing GMOs should be so labeled.

  4. Please, for your dignity and credulity, watch your grammar: “…..budget control goes into affect” should be “…into effect.”

  5. With all the other countries that have banned GMO crops and label food products that contain GMOs, we are behind the 8-ball in getting rid of this scourge. We must stop aiding and abetting the corporations that are profiting from our apathy and stupidity.

  6. Please oppose the GMO provisions and riders in Section 733 of the Agriculture Appropriations Bill (the so-called “Farmer Assurance Provision,” though one might just as well call it the “Monsanto Protection Act”)
    Do not allow the GMO companies rule our foods.
    We, as citizens, want protection against dangerous GMO, period.
    Thank you.

      1. The brainwashing is so pervasive. People don’t want to hear about the French GMO/rats study. They would rather believe what they hear on TV and read in magazines. And the politicians only care about their own Monsanto kick-backs. It’s all very sad. Maybe we should all get T-shirts made up with the picture of those rats. Goodness! When will people listen!? Here in central Illinois today, the chemtrails are so bad the sky is a total white-out – no sun, but yet no one notices. They’re all so busy shopping and eating their GMO lunches, they can’t see the forest for the chemicals. It’s a sick world we’re living in.

  7. It is not prudent to allow GMO riders, Section 733 of the Agriculture Appropriations Bill and a second rider, which has been attached to the Farm Bill, and would outlaw any review of GE crop impacts based on the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, or any other environmental law.
    We should be following the Precautionary Principle and not allow any GMO, because of the harmful impacts on our freedom to say what food we want to grow and eat.

  8. We do not need genitically modified foods or giving Monsanto any more power to take over the farms that do not want to plant their garbage! I really want to know exactly what I and my family are eating and to have the option to chose and decide what is safe . If gmos are so safe why does our president and other members of congress eat organic ? Monsanto needs to stop forcing their will on the people and not be exempt from prosecution for the deamages they are causing .

  9. No GMO riders to a fiscal deal and no caving in to the republican destruction of our economy!

  10. If there is an agreement on a 2013 Appropriations Bill, please, please do not let any GMO riders be added onto this bill. This would be a disaster. GMO’s need to be slowed up , tested for long time periods and even labeled on our food products. There is so much evidence they are harmful to our health, and our environment and the future of our food.

  11. I would like to say that as a REPUBLICAN, and more importantly, a conservative, we, too care about GMO’s and other assorted crap in our food! Stop making this a liberal/conservative issue!
    I could go on and on about the shenanigans about the Democratic party, but is this really the website to do such a thing? I think not.

  12. why is it that we elect our senators and congressman and women and they refuse to listen to the people that elected them they sell us out big pharma and big agriculture and these big bio companys against the american will for these money hungry lobbists and try to pass this nonsense in bill at the end of the year when they think nobodys watching you should all be ashamed of yourselfs if you pass this bill and everyone should rember that whem president obama was runnig for his first term he said that one of the things he would do if elected make sure that gmo labeling would happen were still waiting i guess that was just another pandering lie to all that voted for him if this bill passes with this rider everyone who voted for it there names should be made public anh-usa so we can vote them out next time they run for office please….

  13. I am Canadian, or I would be sending this to all the representatives, not just my own. Sadly, anything that is grown in the U.S. can affect the plants grown in Canada. I wish all GMO plants would be outlawed and destroyed, since I believe they are messing up nature and will eventually cause a crisis in all growing things.

  14. You know what? How about those ********* quit trying to slip their favorite bills through under something of another name? WTH would GMOs have to do with the budget??? NOTHING! Everything should have it’s own label and not be grouped, HIDDEN, in amongst other items. Sleazy!

  15. If, we the people(consumers), don’t want unlabeled GM foods on our grocer’s-shelves, maybe we should tell our local grocers what we want, making *them* responsible for ordering or demanding from their providers, no GMOs or at least GMO labeling.

  16. PLEASE fix the associations for Congresspeople for Colorado – the re-districting has not been taken into account, and your form will go to a Congressman who does not represent me (literally and philosophically)

    1. Hi David,
      Thank you for your comment! The company that helps us send our petitions is currently updating their software; it should reflect the recent redistricting/new Congresspeople soon.
      Thanks again for reading!

  17. You mean well, and I agree with your position, but you really should learn to write letters that are shorter and more to the point. Get a copy editor, will you?

    1. Agreed. And the call to action must be clear right away. I had to search for it, and most people won’t take the time and you’ll lose them quickly. It’s a good cause, your site needs to be effective. Thank you.

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