Among other measures added to the six-month Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013 signed into law by President Barack Obama (D) on March 26, 2013, are a number of provisions—or “riders”—that apparently either override previously adopted laws or require the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to ignore judicial rulings on challenges to the deregulation of genetically engineered (GE) crops.

The riders reportedly include (i) cuts to a school breakfast program to avoid disruptions to food safety inspections which would have affected meat processing operations; (ii) an order that the USDA secretary rescind regulations adopted in 2012 protecting growers under contract with large chicken processors; (iii) the removal of funds from USDA’s budget to implement 2008 farm bill reforms protecting small ranchers and farmers that raise animals for slaughter; and (iv) a requirement that the USDA secretary “immediately grant” temporary permits to farmers, growers or producers on request to continue growing GE crops in the event a court invalidates or vacates USDA’s deregulation of the crop. See Politico, March 25, 2013; Law360, March 27, 2013.

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