Accomplishments of 2018

FEBRUARY

More ELAP $$ For Beekeepers!!


We at AHPA are thrilled to announce that our lobbying has paid off! 

 

The Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP) will no longer be capped at $20 million annually.  The federal budget deal passed last Friday included a provision that uncaps ELAP spending for beekeepers.  Even better, the uncapping is retroactive to 2017 claims and permanent as long as the program continues to be authorized by Congress.  

 

Since we first lobbied to include this program in the 2008 Farm Bill, spending has been capped by statute, which in recent years has meant that eligible beekeepers have received as little as 50% of the payments they otherwise would be entitled to under the program. Maximum claims will now be paid annually at the full $125,000 per claimant.  While it is never easy to watch your bees die off, it is at least comforting to know that this federal support exists.  

 

We hope you will join us in thanking our hard-working Washington team and Executive Committee members for the time, travel and treasure they have spent ensuring this important result for beekeepers across the country.  

 

And we would be remiss not to thank our Senators and Representatives.  Help us help you by making a quick call to your members of Congress and letting them know that we appreciate their support.  Specific names and phone numbers are included below, but never hesitate to reach out to other House and Senate members to let them know that you appreciate this provision being included in the disaster assistance portion of the budget bill.  

 

Regardless of where you live, please thank:

  • Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) for leading on this issue and for keeping us apprised throughout the process. / (202) 224-2043

  • Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) / (202) 224-4774

  • Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) / (202) 224-4822 

  • House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway (R-TX) / (202) 225-3605

  • House Agriculture Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN) / (202) 225-2165

 

Finally, for those who have been losing bees but have not yet signed up for ELAP, don’t forget to do so this year.  Reach out early to your local FSA office to make sure you are keeping the records you need and filing timely applications. 

 

General information on the ELAP program can be found here   Pay special attention to the “ELAP Honeybee Assistance Fact Sheet”.

MARCH

UPDATE ON Electronic Logging Devices

UPDATE March 29th-

“Effective immediately through June 18, 2018, the existing waiver from the ELD requirements for all transporters of agricultural commodities, including livestock, will remain in effect.

Livestock (as defined in 49 CFR 395.2) and insect haulers are not required to comply with the ELD rule for the duration of the FY 2018 appropriations bill (September 30, 2018), and any subsequent continuing resolutions.

Further guidance will be provided as we near the June 18, 2018 expiration for the existing waiver, and upon the publication of any new continuing resolutions or appropriations.

Current guidance for enforcing the ELD rule should continue to be followed.  If you have any questions, please contact Bill Mahorney, Enforcement Division Chief at (202) 493-0001 or bill.mahorney@dot.gov." https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/hours-service/elds/livestock-and-insect-haulers

MAY

Maple, honey producers not sweet on Food and Drug Administration requiring added sugars label

 

Lisa Rathke, The Associated Press Published 8:46 p.m. ET May 1, 2018

EAST MONTPELIER, Vt. — Producers of pure maple syrup and honey aren't sweet on a plan to label their pure natural products as containing added sugars.

They say the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's upcoming requirement to update nutrition labels to tell consumers that pure maple syrup and honey contain added sugars is misleading, illogical and confusing and could hurt their industries.

"There are no added sugars. Maple is a pure product," said U.S. Rep. Peter Welch of Vermont, the country's leading maple producing state.

 

Others from Vermont's congressional delegation joined Welch at a press conference Tuesday. Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy and a representative from Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders' office were also there with some maple producers to discuss their plan to fight the FDA requirement.

 

Welch said that many consumers don't want added sugars, which makes them think of corn syrup or other un-natural elements.

 

"They want pure products," the Democrat said, "nothing more so than maple syrup."

Tom Morse, of Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks in Montpelier, notes that maple syrup comes right from trees and producers refine it to keep the quality high.

"It's 67 percent maple sugar and that's what it is, nothing more, nothing less," he said.

To address industry concerns, the FDA has suggested that producers could use a symbol after the added sugars daily value directing consumers to elsewhere on the label where they could say these sugars occur naturally.

FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said he has made nutrition one of his top priorities, and the Nutrition Facts label hasn't been meaningfully updated in decades.

"We've made it our goal to increase consumer awareness of the quantity of added sugars in food products consistent with recent dietary guideline recommendations," he said in a statement released in March. "The new label also contains the new daily value for added sugars, so consumers can better understand how foods with added sugars can fit into a healthy dietary pattern."

Large manufacturers would have to comply by Jan. 1, 2020, and smaller manufacturers by Jan. 1, 2021, according to the FDA's proposal.

The label with the symbol is still confusing, producers say.

"It's clear that when applied broadly this is an example of well-intentioned federal regulation that is totally illogical when applied in this context," said Roger Brown of Slopestyle Maple in Richmond.

The American Honey Producers Association says it could lead to consumers wondering what's being added to pure honey, when nothing is. Both industries say they work hard to protect their pure products from adulteration.

JUNE

Congress of the United States
Washington, DC 20515

Congress of the United States
Washington, DC 20515

June 8, 2018

 

The Honorable Scott Gottlieb, M.D. Commissioner

Food and Drug Administration 10903 New Hampshire Avenue Silver Spring, MD 20993

 

Re: Docket ID: FDA-2018-D-0075

 

Dear Commissioner Gottlieb:

 

We write today regarding the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) proposed changes to the Nutrition Facts Label. While we suppo1t FDA's effo1t to ensure the label remains scientifically valid and helpful to consumers, we are concerned about the misleading impression that an "added sugars" disclosure on single ingredient maple and honey products would create. As FDA finalizes its changes to the label, we ask that you exempt these products from any new "added sugars" disclosure requirements.

As you know, the Nutrition Facts label has not been meaningfully updated in decades. We commend the FDA for its effo1t to revamp this label and fully suppo1t this unde1taking. By incorporating the latest evidence-based information on nutrient, fat, and caloric content, the updated Nutrition Facts label will help consumers make more informed, healthy dietary choices.

As part of this effort, we understand that the FDA plans to require an " added sugars" disclosure for most products. While this label will provide consumers with a greater understanding of the types and sources of sugar they are consuming, we are concerned about the misleading impression this requirement would create for single ingredient maple and honey products.

The presence of an "added sugars" label may lead consumers to believe that maple syrup and honey are no longer pure products, undermining decades of education and marketing while negatively impacting sales. An "added sugars" declaration on single ingredient maple and honey products may signal to consumers that these pure products - such as a bottle of maple syrup or jar of honey - actually contain added sweeteners such as table sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. This is patently false. Moreover, this requirement could set back years of consumer-focused education aimed at highlighting the pure aspect of these products and guarding against adulterated brands.

We appreciate FDA's recognition of this issue and willingness to consider alternative labeling options for these products. Although the FDA's March 2, 2018 Draft Guidance would allow manufacturers to add a symbol immediately after the added sugars daily value directing consumers to clarifying language elsewhere on the label, this approach seems unlikely to reduce consumer confusion. The simplest, most commonsense solution to this issue would be to exempt single ingredient maple and honey products from the added sugars disclosure requirement because they do not, in fact, contain any added sugars.

 

Additionally, we appreciate FDA's April 13, 2018 decision to extend the Draft Guidance comment period by 45 days. As you know, maple producers across the country are in the midst of sugaring season and beekeepers have just finished pollination season. This has left little time for them to weigh in on FDA's proposal. Further, the honey industry is currently undertaking an effort to study the impact of the guidance on consumer perception and will not have that ready by May. Extending the comment period deadline to June 15, 2018 will provide producers with the time necessary to submit meaningful feedback.

 

By exempting maple and honey from an "added sugars" disclosure, FDA is well positioned to support these industries while reducing consumer confusion. We look forward to working with you on this matter.

 

Sincerely,

Peter Welch, Member of Congress
Kevin Cramer, Member of Congress
Joe Courtney, Member of Congress
Patrick Leahy, Member of Congress
Ted S. Yoho, DVM, Member of Congress
Bernard Sanders, U.S. Senator
Claudia Tenney, Member of Congress
Angus S. King, Jr., U.S. Senator
Mark Pocan, Member of Congress
Richard Blumenthal, U.S.

SenatorGreg Gianforte, Member of Congress
Christopher S. Murphy, U.S. Senator

Elise M. Stefanik, Member of Congress

Ann McLane Kuster, Member of Congress

Carol Shea-Porter, Member of Congress

Chris Collins, Member of Congress

Chellie Pingree, Member of Congress

Mike Gallagher, Member of Congress

Kristi L. Noem, Member of Congress

David P. Joyce, Member of Congress

For Immediate Release:

June 12, 2018

Contact:

Kami Capener (Hoeven), (202) 224-2551

Samantha Slater (Bennet), (202) 510-7014

HOEVEN, BENNET INTRODUCE LEGISLATION TO EXAMINE AND REFORM HOURS OF SERVICE, ELECTRONIC LOGGING DEVICE REGULATIONS

 

Bipartisan Bill Delays ELD Enforcement until Regulatory Reforms Are Proposed

WASHINGTON – Senators John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) today introduced the Modernizing Agricultural Transportation Act, bipartisan legislation to reform the Hours of Service (HOS) and Electronic Logging Device (ELD) regulations at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Further, the enforcement of the ELD rule would be delayed until the reforms required under the bill are formally proposed by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation.

 

“Improving highway safety is an important goal, but the rules we put in place must recognize the very real challenges faced by those who haul livestock and other perishable commodities,” said Senator Hoeven. “Our legislation would delay enforcement while ensuring that the HOS and ELD rules are reformed with the concerns of all impacted stakeholders taken into account. That means providing a permanent, flexible solution that both strengthens safety and ensures the humane transportation of livestock.”

 

“Our bipartisan legislation will provide Colorado’s farmers and ranchers a seat at the table to help develop sensible rules around the transportation of agricultural goods,” said Senator Bennet. “It is important that we maintain safe roads for all, while also recognizing the unique flexibility needed for the transportation of Colorado’s agriculture products.”

 

Specifically, the Hoeven-Bennet bill would establish a working group at DOT to identify obstacles to the safe, humane and market-efficient transport of livestock and, within one year of the group’s establishment, develop guidelines for regulatory or legislative action to improve the transportation of these commodities. The working group will be comprised of representatives from the transportation and agriculture industries, as well as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and is required to consider:

 

  • The impact, incompatibilities and other challenges and concerns of existing HOS rules and ELD rules under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on the commercial transport of livestock, insects and agricultural commodities.

  • Initiatives and regulatory changes that maintain and protect highway safety and allow for the safe, efficient and productive marketplace transport of livestock, insects and agricultural commodities.

  • Other related issues that the Transportation Secretary considers appropriate.

  • Within 120 days of receiving the working group’s report, the Transportation Secretary must propose regulatory changes to the HOS and ELD regulations, taking into account the findings and recommendations of the working group.
     

The Modernizing Agricultural Transportation Act is supported by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA), Livestock Marketing Association (LMA), American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), the American Honey Producers Association (AHPA) and the Rocky Mountain Farmer’s Union (RMFU). Click here for statements in support of the Hoeven-Bennet legislation.

Regulatory Guidance: Transportation of Agricultural Commodities including Livestock

 

With the Electronic Logging Device rule now in effect for six months, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is continuing to work to provide support and clarity to the industry as well as its law enforcement partners. A review of the inspections completed since the rule went into effect indicates that less than one percent of those vehicles inspected were cited for not having an ELD when required. In addition, Hours of Service violations are less than half of what they were a year ago.

 

On December 20, 2017, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a Federal Register notice proposing regulatory guidance concerning the transportation of agricultural commodities, which includes livestock and requested public comment on the proposals.

 

FMCSA sought to provide clarity on the use of this exception to both industry and law enforcement, and to provide as much flexibility as possible for the industry, while maintaining safety.

This guidance is appliacable to all transporters of agricultural commodities, which is defined in 49 CFR Part 395.2 and includes the transportation of nonprocessed food, feed, fiber, or livestock and insects.

The final guidance clarifies the applicability of the “Agricultural commodity” exception in 49 CFR 395.1(k)(1) to the “Hours of Service of Drivers” regulations.

 

This guidance is limited to the application of the 150 air-mile exception for the transportation of “agricultural commodities.”

 

This regulatory guidance clarifies that the following operations are not subject to the Hours-of- Service Regulations while operating within 150 air-mile radius of the source of the commodity:

 

Drivers operating unladen vehicles traveling either to pick up an agricultural commodity, as defined in § 395.2, or returning from a delivery point; and Drivers engaged in trips beyond 150 air-miles from the source of the agricultural commodity are not subject to the hours of service regulations until they exit the 150 air-mile radius.

 

The guidance also clarifies many longstanding questions about what can be considered a “source” of an agricultural commodity:

 

The guidance clarifies that a source may not only be the farm or ranch where the agricultural commodity originates, but also may include intermediate storage and loading facilities, such as grain elevators or sale barns, provided the product still meets the definition of an agricultural commodity.

 

The guidance also clarifies that when agricultural commodities are loaded at multiple sources during a trip only the first loading point can be considered a source.

 

While this guidance focuses specifically on how the agricultural commodities exception impacts a driver’s daily and weekly hours-of-service limits, it also should be considered when determining the applicability of the Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) rule more broadly. While transporters of livestock are not required to have an ELD until September 30, 2018, and transporters of other agricultural commodities are not required to have an ELD until June 18, 2018, this exception and the clarifications provided under this guidance may be used to determine applicability of the ELD requirements after these dates. Thus, motor carriers utilizing the agricultural commodities exception – like other exceptions to the HOS rule – will be able to take advantage of an exception from the ELD requirements if they do not operate outside of the 150-mile radius more than 8 days out of every 30.

 

The Agency’s Agriculture webpage at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/ag provides a variety of resources to help with understanding all agriculture exemptions, the applicability of the rule and regulations to agriculture, and how to use your ELD when operating under an agricultural exception.

This guidance is effective immediately.

Regulatory Guidance: Personal Conveyance

With the Electronic Logging Device rule now in effect for six months, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is continuing to work to provide support and clarity to the industry as well as its law enforcement partners. A review of the inspections completed since the rule went into effect indicates that less than one percent of those vehicles inspected were cited for not having an ELD when required. In addition, Hours of Service violations are less than half of what they were a year ago.

 

On December 19, 2017, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proposed revisions to the regulatory guidance concerning driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) for personal use while off-duty, referred to as “personal conveyance.” This final guidance applies to any driver authorized to operate a commercial vehicle for personal, or non-business reasons.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) require drivers to document their Hours of Service (HOS) on records of duty status (RODS), identifying one of four duty status options: 1) on-duty not driving, 2) driving, 3) sleeper berth, and 4) off-duty.

 

The use of personal conveyance is a method used to account for the movement of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) while the driver is off-duty. Motor carriers, at their discretion, may authorize their drivers to use a CMV while off-duty for personal conveyance. When this occurs, drivers are required to document such use as off-duty on their RODS, regardless of the method used to record the driver’s HOS (e.g., paper logs, automatic on-board recording device, electronic logging devices (ELDs), etc.).

 

This revised guidance focuses on the reason the driver is operating a CMV while off-duty to determine if the movement is considered personal conveyance, regardless of whether the CMV is laden.

 

This final notice provides a variety of scenarios in the guidance as to when the use of personal conveyance is allowable, and, includes passenger carrier specific scenarios. Specifically, the guidance clarifies issues such as:

  • when using personal conveyance to leave a shipper or receiver and travel to a safe location for rest is allowed

  • when commuting to and from work can be considered personal conveyance

  • the use of personal conveyance does not impact on-duty time

 

The ELD rule required manufacturers to include a special driving category for “authorized personal use” which includes personal conveyance. Drivers authorized to use personal conveyance may use this feature, or remain in off-duty status. In either case, the electronic record should be annotated to explain the circumstances.

This guidance is effective immediately. Please see the Personal Conveyance webpage at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/personal-conveyance for more information.

USDA Reopens Application Period for Producers Recovering from Cattle Loss, Other Disasters

Release No. 0091.18
May 31, 2018

Signup Begins June 4 for Livestock Indemnity Program and Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-raised Fish

WASHINGTON, May 31, 2018 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin accepting disaster assistance program applications on June 4 from agricultural producers who suffered livestock, honeybees, farm-raised fish and other losses due to natural disasters.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is reopening the application period for two disaster assistance programs in response to statutory changes made by Congress earlier this year.

“When disasters hit, help is as close as your USDA service center,” said Bill Northey, Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. “After any catastrophic event, an eligible producer can walk into any one of our local offices and apply for help.”

Beginning June 4, FSA will accept new applications for losses for calendar year 2017 or 2018 filed under the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) or Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP). Producers who already submitted applications and received decisions on their applications for these years do not need to file again, but they can reapply if they have additional losses or their application was disapproved because it was filed late.

In February, Congress passed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which made several changes to these two disaster programs, including:

Removing ELAP’s $20 million fiscal year funding cap, enabling FSA to pay producers’ 2017 applications in full and their 2018 applications as soon as they are approved.


Removing the per-person and legal entity annual program payment limitation of $125,000 for LIP for 2017 and future years. (The income limitation applies as it did before, meaning producers with an adjusted gross income of more than $900,000 are not eligible.)


Changing LIP to allow producers to receive a payment for injured livestock that are sold for a reduced price due to an eligible event. Previously, the program only covered financial loss for livestock death above normal mortality.

Producers interested in LIP or ELAP should contact their local USDA service center. To apply, producers will need to provide verifiable and reliable production records and other information about their operation.

Drought, wildfires and other disasters continue to impact farmers and ranchers, and LIP and ELAP are two of many programs available through USDA to help producers recover. Learn more at https://www.usda.gov/disaster.

JULY

If you would like to donate to
AHPA’s Chinese Tallow Tree Campaign
CLICK HERE

The Chinese Tallow tree is a non-native species, which has been in the USA since the late 1700s. In the past several decades it has rapidly spread along the Gulf Coast, providing one of the most valuable and relied upon nectar sources in the country for bees and beekeepers. Damage to this vital nectar source is of upmost concern to the US Beekeeping Industry. Nectar and pollen from the Chinese tallow are of substantial economic value to commercial beekeepers and the beekeeping industry. Protection of this pollinator habitat needs to be secured.

National Veterinary Accreditation Program

Module 30: The Role of Veterinarians in Honey Bee Health

Introduction

Antimicrobial resistance is a serious threat to One Health, impacting human, animal, and environmental health. Judicious use of antimicrobials in both humans and animals is critical to slow

the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance. As of January 1, 2017, all water-soluble, medically important antimicrobials administered to food producing animals in drinking water require a veterinary prescription, and all medically important antimicrobials administered to food producing animals through feed require a veterinary feed directive (VFD).

Honey bees (Apis mellifera) play a vital role in U.S. agriculture and the security of our food supply. Because hive products, such as honey, are consumed, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies honey bees as food producing animals. As such, beekeepers must now obtain a VFD or prescription from a licensed veterinarian for the use of medically important antimicrobials in their bees via feed or water, respectively. The FDA requires veterinarians to issue all VFDs within the context of a valid veterinarian-client-patient-relationship (VCPR). As such, veterinarians are being asked to visit apiaries, examine hives for signs of disease, and authorize appropriate therapy.

This module is intended to provide accredited veterinarians (AVs) with basic knowledge of honey bee biology and beekeeping, as well as information about relevant honey bee diseases and conditions, to foster communication with beekeepers and ensure stewardship of antimicrobial use in honey bees. Although this module focuses on the role of veterinarians related to antimicrobial use and the issuance of prescriptions and VFDs in honey bees, veterinarians can offer many valuable services to beekeepers, such as assisting hobbyist beekeepers with plans for parasite management or assisting commercial beekeepers with the development of protocols to be followed by beekeeping staff for disease detection and control. For these reasons, veterinarians are encouraged to gain more knowledge in this area and explore potential opportunities with both hobbyist and commercial beekeepers.

Module Description

This informational module has been approved expressly to serve as one unit of supplemental training for participants in USDA’s National Veterinary Accreditation Program. The module is intended to familiarize accredited veterinarians with animal health regulatory concepts and activities. Information in the module does not supersede the regulations.

For the most up-to-date regulations and standards, please refer to the Code of Federal Regulations or contact your local Veterinary Services (VS) District Office.

The content for this module was developed in cooperation with the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and is based largely on the AVMA member resource entitled “Honey Bees: A Guide for Veterinarians”, available on the AVMA website.

Acknowledgements

This module was made possible, in part, by a Cooperative Agreement from the USDA-APHIS for the National Veterinary Accreditation Program. It was originally prepared by the Center for Food Security and Public Health, College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University.

The content for this module was developed in cooperation with the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and is based largely on the AVMA member resource entitled “Honey Bees: A Guide for Veterinarians”, available on the AVMA website.

    

AHPA Contributors:

          Kelvin Adee, President, American Honey Producers Association

          Chris Hiatt, Vice President, American Honey Producers Association

          Eric Silva, American Honey Producers Association

For more information: https://nvap.aphis.usda.gov/BEE/bee0001.php

AUGUST

AHPA Supports President Trump’s Efforts Against China’s Predatory Trade Practices against the United States  

During their July 30-31 mission to Washington, AHPA Board Members Kelvin Adee (President), Darren Cox (Past President), and Cassie Cox (Executive Secretary) met with Hunter Morgan, principal assistant to Prof. Peter Navarro, President Trump’s lead White House advisor on international trade. 

During that meeting, the Board Members registered the AHPA members’ strong support for the Trump Administration’s ongoing efforts to stop and obtain damages for China’s illegal acquisition over the last three decades of huge amounts of US intellectual property by theft and unfair coercion.  The Board Members also encouraged the Administration to follow through with its plan to impose a 25% duty on $200 billion in annual imports from China, including honey imports.

Kelvin Adee’s August 15, 2018 follow-up letter of support to President Trump August 15, 2018

 

The Honorable Donald J. Trump President of the United States of America The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500

 

Re: U.S. Commercial Beekeepers Support President Trump’s Efforts Against China’s Predatory Trade Practices

 

Dear Mr. President:

 

I write to express the strong support of the American Honey Producers Association (“AHPA”) for your Administration’s forceful efforts to crack down on trade with China after years of Washington’s complacency. Your actions have given hope to the thousands of America’s workers, farmers and producers that have been hurt by China’s predatory trade practices. These include our country’s commercial beekeepers.

 

AHPA represents 393 commercial beekeepers based in the 44 states listed in the attached Exhibit 1. Our members collectively manage more than a million beehives, and account for about half of the 160 million pounds of raw honey produced and sold in this country each year. As they annually move their beehives throughout America’s vast farmlands, our commercial beekeepers also pollinate a wide range of crops, thereby ensuring they will grow and ultimately be used as food. Without the pollination services provided by America’s commercial beekeepers, the produce aisles of our grocery stores would be bare.

 

For three decades, China has tried to destroy our commercial beekeepers by dumping huge volumes of their honey here at the ultra-low prices enabled by China’s highly-subsidized non- market economy. While our Government has imposed steep antidumping (“AD)” duties on Chinese honey imports since 2001, China has used many fraudulent duty-evasion schemes to continue dumping its honey in our market without paying the hundreds of millions of dollars in AD duties the United States imposed on China’s unfairly traded honey U.S. Customs has billed on those imports. Through these schemes, China has continued to inflict massive injury on our commercial beekeepers.

 

Although honey imports reported as originating in China have dropped substantially in recent years, that honey is now being fraudulently imported as having been produced in other countries, and thereby evades the AD duties owed on honey imports from China. By this gaming of the U.S. trade laws, subsidized Chinese honey has retained its U.S. market share.

 

Further, much of the Chinese honey that continues to be illegally imported here through third countries has been blended with hard-to-detect, low-value sugars like rice syrup, or contains harmful antibiotics and other contaminants, or both. This tainted, adulterated honey continues to flood the United States without challenge, as Customs lacks both the equipment and know-how needed to detect such illegal imports, and has not made such detection an agency priority.

 

China thus continues its long drive to destroy America’s commercial beekeepers and dominate our country’s valuable honey market. China’s eventual success would be a huge commercial loss for our country, for the essential pollination services provided by our beekeepers would vanish with their honey – and pollination services cannot be imported from China or any other country.

 

President Trump, our country needs your continued strong leadership and resolve in taking China to task for the damage it has inflicted on our industries and citizens through its unlawful international trade practices. In the ongoing fight, we trust you won’t forget America’s embattled commercial beekeepers. We stand beside you, Mr. President!

 

Please let us know if there is anything the AHPA and its members can do to assist your Administration in its engagement with China, or to further register our strong support for your efforts.

 

Very truly yours,

Kelvin Adee President

American Honey Producers Association

 

 

 

TESTIMONY OF KELVIN ADEE, PRESIDENT AMERICAN HONEY PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION

Hearing Before Section 301 Committee August 23, 2018

Good afternoon. My name is Kelvin Adee, and I am the President of the American Honey Producers Association. I greatly appreciate this opportunity to register AHPA's strong support for President Trump's efforts to remedy the substantial injury China has inflicted on the United States through many years of its unfair and unlawful international trade practices. We also support as

part of the Section 301 remedies the imposition of an additional 25 percent ad valorem tariff on imports of pure honey from China, as opposed to the initially-proposed 10 percent tariff.

 

 

AHPA represents 393 commercial beekeepers based in 44 of our 50 states. Our members collectively manage more than a million beehives, and account for about half of the 160 million pounds of raw honey produced and sold in this country each year. Our member beekeepers also pollinate a wide range of crops each year, thereby ensuring the crops will grow and be used as food. Without the pollination services provided by America's commercial beekeepers, the produce aisles of our grocery stores would be bare.

For more than three decades, China has been trying to destroy our commercial beekeepers by dumping huge volumes of their honey here at the ultra- low prices enabled by China's state-controlled economy. While our Government imposed steep antidumping duties on Chinese honey imports in 2001, China has used many fraudulent duty-evasion schemes to continue entering huge volumes of its honey at dumped prices without paying the hundreds of millions of dollars in AD duties that are owed on those imports. Through these criminal duty-evasion schemes, China has continued to inflict massive injury on our commercial beekeepers.

Although honey imports reported as originating in China have dropped significantly in recent years, that honey is now being fraudulently imported as having been produced in other countries, such as India, Vietnam, Thailand and Ukraine, which is being sold here at steeply dumped prices while totally evading the collection of the AD duties owed on those imports. We estimate that 90 million pounds of Chinese honey is illegally smuggled into the U.S. from third countries each year,and is sold here at prices well below our cost of production.

Further, much of the Chinese honey that is illegally imported here through third countries has been blended with hard-to-detect, low-value sugars like rice syrup, or contains harmful antibiotics and other contaminants, or both.  This tainted, adulterated honey continues to enter here unchallenged, as Customs lacks the equipment and know-how to detect such illegal imports.

All of this circumvented Chinese honey is being sold here at historically low prices, far below our commercial beekeepers' historically high production costs for domestic honey. Those costs have nearly doubled since 2008, largely due to the high jump in our commercial bee mortality rates, which has been caused by a range of harmful environmental factors such as increased nation-wide use of dangerous pesticides, and the growth of bee predators like the varoa mite.

China thus continues its long drive to destroy America's commercial beekeepers and dominate our country's valuable honey market. China's eventual success would be a huge commercial loss for our country, for the essential pollination services provided by our beekeepers would vanish with their pure domestic honey - and pollination services cannot be imported from China or any other country.

On behalf of AHPA's 393 commercial-beekeeper members, and their many employees, I appreciate this opportunity to testify before the Section 301 Committee.

OCTOBER

THE AMERICAN HONEY PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION JOINS OTHER LIVESTOCK GROUPS TO PETITION THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION FOR HOURS OF SERVICE FLEXIBILITY

 
WASHINGTON (October 15, 2018) – Today organizations representing livestock, bee, and fish haulers across the country submitted a petition to the Department of Transportation (DOT) requesting additional flexibility on Hours of Service (HOS) requirements. The petition asks for a five-year exemption from certain HOS requirements for livestock haulers and encourages DOT to work with the livestock industry to implement additional fatigue-management practices.

Current rules limit drive time to 11 hours and limit on-duty hours to 14. Instead, the organizations request that livestock haulers be granted approval to drive up to 15 hours with a 16-hour on-duty period, following a 10-hour consecutive rest period. Any livestock hauler wishing to operate under the extended drive time would be required to complete pre-trip planning and increased fatigue-management training.

 
The full press release can be found here: 
http://www.beefusa.org/newsreleases.aspx?NewsID=6807

NOVEMBER

Peterson, Yoho, and Marshall lead letter in support of regulatory flexibility for livestock haulers

 

CONGRESSMAN

COLLIN C. PETERSON

Minnesota - 7th District                     http://collinpeterson.house.gov

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 30th, 2018

CONTACT:

Justin Rostad (Peterson) Justin.Rostad@mail.house.gov

Brian Kaveney (Yoho) Brian.Kaveney@mail.house.gov

Charyssa Parent (Marshall) Charyssa.Parent@mail.house.gov

 

Peterson, Yoho, and Marshall lead letter in support of regulatory flexibility for livestock haulers

 

Representatives Collin Peterson (D-MN), Ted Yoho (R-FL), and Roger Marshall (R-KS) submitted a bipartisan letter to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in support of a petition to waive livestock haulers from certain provisions of Hours of Service (HOS) rules. The petition, which was submitted by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), Livestock Marketing Association (LMA), American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), American Beekeeping Federation (ABF), American Honey Producers Association (AHPA), and National Aquaculture Association (NAA), requests increased driving hours for livestock haulers in exchange for additional training designed by FMCSA.

 

The letter was signed by 59 members of Congress from both sides of the aisle.

 

“Current hours of service regulations do not accommodate the unique needs of livestock haulers,” said Congressman Peterson. “This petition will allow them to deliver agricultural products to market more effectively while maintaining their proven record of safety.”

 

“The safe transportation of livestock is an essential part of feeding America,” said Congressman Yoho. “This petition would modify the current regulations so we protect the safety of both haulers and livestock in route to their final destination. I want to thank Congressman Peterson, Congressman Marshall, and all my colleagues who lead this bipartisan letter in support of the petition to provide relief for livestock haulers.”

 

“Livestock haulers across the country have the difficult task of ensuring motorist safety while also tending to the health and welfare of the animals transported,” said Congressman Marshall. “I was proud to support this petition that works to address a livestock haulers unique tasks, while also maintaining their strong safety record.”

 

“When livestock and other live animals are transported, it’s important to get them to their destination safely and without delay or disruption,” said Zippy Duvall, President of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “Safety for the driver and others on the road is a priority. That is why we are petitioning DOT to adopt modern fatigue-management practices that provide the same or greater level of safety while avoiding unintended and unnecessary stress on the animals entrusted to our care. We greatly appreciate Reps. Yoho, Peterson, Marshall and the other Members of Congress who wrote DOT in support of the petition.”

 

“We’re very thankful to Congressmen Peterson, Yoho, Marshall, and others for helping lead the effort to bring some common sense and flexibility to the Hours of Service rules that govern livestock haulers,” said Kevin Kester, fifth-generation California rancher and President of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “We hope that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sees the support of many Members of Congress from across the United States for this petition, and recognizes the need for flexibility. We look forward to continuing our work to deliver more flexibility for haulers while maintaining a very strong safety record for fellow highway travelers.”

 

"Safety is our top priority. However, the current Hours of Service rules do not take into account the unique needs of our livestock haulers to prioritize necessary animal care by our farmers, ranchers and truck drivers,” said Kevin Paap, President of the Minnesota Farm Bureau. “We appreciate Representative Peterson's leadership in making sure these regulations have a common-sense approach that provide necessary flexibility while keeping safety top of mind." 

 

"Livestock, unlike general freight, cannot stay on the trailer during rest or downtime. The expansion of hours of service for livestock haulers is imperative to livestock health and wellbeing while being transported,” said Krist Wollum, President of the Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association. “Livestock haulers have an exemplary safety record and go through specialized training to help them to ensure the livestock they are hauling are cared for the entire route of the trip." 

 

“The members of the Livestock Marketing Association greatly appreciate the leadership of Representatives Yoho, Peterson, and Marshall,” said Tom Frey, President of the Livestock Marketing Association and owner of the Creston Livestock Auction of Creston, Iowa. “This bipartisan, cross-country showing of support of important changes to the livestock hauling regulatory framework demonstrates just how important flexibility for our haulers is.”

 

“Fish and crawfish farmers ship live fish for sale as live seafood in restaurants or retail stores, bait fish for recreational fishing, game fish for stocking in private and public waters, live crawfish for crawfish boils, and other fish for a variety of uses all across the country,” said Jim Parsons, President of the National Aquaculture Association. “The trucks we use are specially equipped to maintain fish health and welfare and our drivers are trained and experienced to deliver live, healthy fish on-time.  Our petition provides US aquaculture with the much needed additional driving time to negotiate country roads and highway reconstruction and the opportunity to prevent driver fatigue.  We greatly appreciate the bipartisan leadership by Congressman Peterson, Congressman Yoho, and Congressman Marshall in supporting a petition that benefits our drivers, fish, customers and folks driving along with us on America’s highways and byways.”

 

“The small but mighty beekeeping industry hauls managed honeybees clear across the country to pollinate crops like almonds, apples, pears and blueberries,” said Kelvin Adee, President of the American Honey Producers Association. “These bees are responsible for nearly $20 billion in American agricultural output annually. Without changes to the existing hours of services rules for bee haulers, our drivers would be forced to rest unnecessarily long periods of time while the sun is up and the bees are at risk of overheating and dying. We believe that the petition we submitted alongside other livestock interests strikes the critical balance between ensuring the health of our nation’s already imperiled managed bees and the safety of our roads. We applaud Representatives Peterson, Yoho, and Marshall for writing in support of this petition.” 

 

“As beekeepers, we are well aware of the importance of managed honey bees to our food source,” said Tim May, President of the American Beekeeping Federation. “Nearly one-third of the food we eat is pollinated by honey bees. Due to the increased demand for honey bee pollination, livestock haulers are transporting bees all across the country. Extending the HOS for livestock haulers gives bee haulers the added time needed to coordinate with the required daylight driving schedule. We at ABF understand that safety is always the number one priority and we commend the new safety requirements suggested for livestock haulers.”

 

A copy of the letter and its signatories can be found HERE

DECEMBER

Farm bill exempts pure maple, honey from added sugars label
By LISA RATHKE December 11, 2018


MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The new farm bill passed by the U.S. Senate on Tuesday prevents maple syrup and honey producers from being required to list their pure products as containing added sugars on their nutrition labels — a plan proposed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration months ago that producers said was misleading.

The FDA’s goal was to update the Nutrition Facts label on products to educate consumers about the amount of added sugars in foods based on government dietary guidelines. However, no sugar is added to pure maple syrup or honey.

After getting thousands of comments on the draft plan, it acknowledged in June the labeling was confusing and said it would come up with alternative approach for maple syrup and honey.

“This was a huge mistake by the FDA and was really threatening to the Vermont maple industry, who are conscious about food labels and conscious about added sugar,” said U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, a Democrat. He, along with Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer, of North Dakota, pushed for the labeling exemption in the farm bill. “So we got a common sense outcome to the pretty witless labeling requirement.”

The farm bill exempts “any single-ingredient sugar, honey, agave, or syrup, including maple syrup” that is packaged and offered for sale as a single-ingredient food from bearing the declaration ’includes X g Added Sugars” in the nutrition label.

“I think we’re getting it right,” said maple syrup producer Roger Brown, co-founder of Slopeside Syrup in Richmond, Vermont.

The FDA said in a written statement Tuesday that it does not comment on pending legislation. It said it was drafting its final guidance, which it anticipates issuing by early next year.

“This guidance will provide a path forward for pure, single-ingredient ‘packaged as such’ products that does not involve the standard ‘added sugars’ declaration on the Nutrition Facts label,” the statement said.
The federal farm bill heads to the U.S. House next.

American Honey
Producers Association

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Cassie Cox
Executive Secretary
PO Box 435
Mendon, UT 84325
office:281-900-9740
cassie@ahpanet.com