Archive for June, 2013

Want help following the Farm Bill? Here you go.

As you are likely aware, the Farm Bill continues to make its way through Congress. The following information is from Michele Colopy, Program Director of the National Pollinator Defense Fund. Former MTSBA President Craig Rodenburg thought the membership might be interested in seeing the information from Michele, and following the NPDF’s Farm Bill updates at http://pollinatordefense.org/site/:

The Farm Bill continues to work its way through Congress. The Boxer Amendment is still an important focus for Pollinator Protection. The Boxer Amendment is now identified as Amendment Number 1027.

Senator Barbara Boxer has proposed the following amendment #1027 that would:
1. Create an interagency task force on bee health and commercial beekeeping
2. Encourage a more proactive approach to protecting pollinator health at U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, U.S. Dept. of the Interior, and the Environmental Protection Agency; and
3. Require feasibility studies for modernizing one current ARS honey bee research laboratory, and establishing one new ARS pollinator research laboratory.

Please be advised Senate Amendment 984 submitted by Senator Fischer is an amendment to define seed and the importation of seed:
SEC. 10013. IMPORTATION OF SEED.
Section 17(c) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (7 U.S.C. 136o(c)) is amended– (1) by striking “The Secretary” and inserting the following:“(1) In general.–The Secretary”; and (2) by adding at the end the following:“(2) Importation of seed.–For purposes of this subsection, seed, including treated seed, shall not be considered to be a pesticide or device. “(3) Applicability.–Nothing in this subsection precludes or limits the authority of the Secretary of Agriculture with respect to the importation or movement of plants, plant products, or seeds under– “(A) the Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.); and “(B) the Federal Seed Act (7 U.S.C. 1551 et seq.).”.
It appears that item number 2 of the Fischer amendment codifies seed treatments as a non-application of pesticides. The Farm Bill is still moving through the Congress. If seed treatments are not regulated as a “pesticide,” what will be the recourse for bee kills such as the one recently in Minnesota. Regrettably, there have been incidences of bee kills when seed treatment dust has killed bee hives. (select this YouTube link to a bee kill http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxXXaILuK5s )

The Farm Bill reauthorization, and amendments such as the Boxer Amendment #1027, and the line concerning seed treatments will be voted upon soon. Please call or email your Senators and Representatives today, and voice your opinion concerning these important issues to beekeepers and pollinators.

Thank you,

Michele Colopy
Program Director
National Pollinator Defense Fund, Inc.
P.O. Box 193
Danbury, Texas 77534
832-727-9492
progdirector@pollinatordefense.org
http://www.pollinatordefense.org