GMO Supporters Reap What They Sow in Government Funding Bill

admin | March 21, 2013

Monsanto and other companies that support genetically modified agriculture have just won a major victory in Congress. A rider (Sec. 735) included in the 2013 continuing resolution (H.R. 933), a bill that must be passed by Congress to prevent a government shutdown, stripped federal courts of their power to restrict the use of genetically modified crops that they find have not undergone a complete environmental impact assessment from the USDA. The rider essentially eliminated the only legal tool environmental advocates had for slowing down or stopping the use of new genetically modified crops. The bill passed the Senate yesterday by a vote of 73-26 and the House today by a vote of 318-109.

Sec. 735 was inserted in the bill when it was in the Senate Appropriations Committee, although so far no member of the Committee has publicly acknowledged putting it in. An amendment to remove the provision was proposed by Senator Jon Tester, but the amendment was not allowed a vote.

Data: According to a MapLight analysis of campaign contributions to members of the 113th Congress from the political action committees of several organizations supporting the use of genetically modified crops, since January 1, 2009 (data source: FEC):

  • Current members of Congress have received $7,443,934 from the PACs of these organizations.
  • Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee have received $371,925 from the PACs of these organizations.
  • Senator Roy Blunt, a member of the Appropriations Committee, has received $70,592 from the PACs of these organizations, the most received by any member of the Appropriations Committee and the second-most received by any senator.
Organization2010 cycle2012 cycle2014 cycleTotal
American Crystal Sugar $1,306,500 $1,861,000 $175,000 $3,342,500
American Farm Bureau $336,209 $601,312 - $937,521
National Cotton Council $201,854 $347,378 - $549,232
Monsanto Company $199,249 $341,000 - $540,249
Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative $189,900 $238,500 $31,000 $459,400
Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative $132,300 $263,332 - $395,632
Syngenta Corporation $151,000 $229,000 - $380,000
Cargill, Inc. $133,000 $216,500 - $349,500
Archer Daniels Midland $128,000 $215,500 $2,000 $345,500
Scotts Miracle-Gro $85,500 $58,900 - $144,400
Total: $2,867,512 $4,374,922 $208,000 $7,443,934

To download a spreadsheet of this data, click here.

Methodology: MapLight analysis of campaign contributions to committees associated with current members of the 113th Congress since January 1, 2009, based on latest available data from the FEC as of March 17, 2013. Figures for American Farm Bureau include contributions made by state Farm Bureau PACs.

Photo: Lori Sparkia/Shutterstock