2019 AHPA Resolutions & Policy Agenda

AMERICAN HONEY PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION

RESOLUTIONS 2019

PREAMBLE

All past policies and resolutions are subject to annual review by the voting delegates of the American
Honey Producers Association (AHPA) at any official meeting.  The Resolutions Committee has attempted to develop policy positions on the various issues that are important to the membership of AHPA.  It is our intent to keep the resolutions concise and current, eliminating redundancy where possible.

                       

AHPA Resolutions

 

1. The officers and members of the AHPA resolve to continue the campaign to:

  • Work to enhance the profitability of beekeeping.

  • Motivate beekeepers to establish a meaningful rapport with their Congressional representatives.

  • Promote the honey bee pollination story with members of congress.

  • Open a meaningful line of communication with the Administration.

  • Work with other organized groups whose goals are compatible with the goals of the AHPA.

  • Provide the necessary funds for the AHPA to implement the 2019AHPA Program.

           

2. Be it resolved that the AHPA go on record encouraging all beekeepers, related industries, state associations, and state entities, who are recipients of Byrd Amendment funds, immediately send a 25% contribution of their Byrd payment to AHPA, in addition to the 25% required by Kelley Drye, and Warren, to help pay for the continued cost of AHPA legal expenses and operating expenses.

 

3. Be it resolved that the AHPA go on record encouraging all beekeepers who are recipients of ELAP funds, to send a 5% contribution of their ELAP payments to AHPA to help pay for the continued cost of AHPA legal expenses and operating expenses, as justified on the basis that substantial consulting and legal fees have been expended over the years and will continue to be expended to ensure the program is reauthorized under federal law and administered as effectively as possible by USDA with the least amount of claims denials.

 

4. Be it resolved that the AHPA incorporates by reference into these resolutions its “2019 Federal Policy and Regulatory Agenda”, as duly adopted by the AHPA Executive Board as the only official AHPA agenda, but that a number of the resolutions adopted herein may offer more detailed guidance on the expected scope of activity under those agenda items or provide more detailed justifications for such activity. 

 

5. Whereas the I.T.C. has ruled unanimously that cheap imports from China are injuring the domestic honey industry and whereas significant dumping duties were imposed on imports from China, therefore be it resolved that the AHPA go on record supporting aggressive collection of duties to protect the effectiveness of the I.T.C. ruling and monitor circumvention of duties by shipping honey through intermediate countries.

 

6.  Whereas imported honey is being blended with domestic honey at the bulk and retail level, and whereas this co-mingled honey is labeled as a product of several different countries thereby making the country of origin label meaningless to the consumer, therefore be it resolved the AHPA go on record asking Congress and the Secretary of Agriculture to prohibit the blending of foreign honeys, with other foreign honeys or domestic honey. The country of origin needs to be on the front of the label in the same font size as the trademark.

 

7. Whereas imitation sweeteners, ultra-filtered honey, Baker’s Blend, Packer’s Blend, or other adulterated “honey” is being labeled and sold as honey, be it resolved that the AHPA go on record to encourage FDA and other government agencies to prohibit all products of this type from using the word “honey” anywhere in the label.

 

8. Whereas the US honey market is currently faced with a barrage of mislabeled, adulterated, counterfeit, and/or contaminated products, therefore be it resolved that the AHPA supports the work of USDA to establish a commercial item description along with USP's efforts to standardize a definition of honey as support methodologies to accurately test honey.            

           

9. Whereas the US honey market is currently faced with a barrage of mislabeled, adulterated, counterfeit, and/or contaminated products, therefore be it resolved that the AHPA supports the work of the Honey Integrity Task Force as an organized industry wide effort to identify problems and develop consensus solutions, including by jointly making recommendations to government agencies and third party organizations. 

 

10. Whereas genetically engineered honeybees could have devastating economic implications to the value and the marketability of honey and honeybee products, and enormous economic costs to the bee industry due to the intellectual property rights laws of genetically engineered organisms (beekeepers may not be able to openly breed their own bees because of royalties to a genetic monopoly), therefore be it resolved that the AHPA goes on record as strongly opposing the testing, development, and release of genetically engineered honeybees.

 

11. Be it resolved that the AHPA ask USDA/ARS to research the nutritional value to the honey bee of GMO crops compared to non-GMO crops.

 

12. Whereas AHPA recognizes that the LD 50 test does not accurately access the risk of all compounds brought to market or currently on the market, be it resolved the AHPA request EPA to enact the new protocols developed at the Pelston conference for Tier I, II, and III testing on new and reviewed products to determine all possible effects on honeybees with risk assessments of IGRs, Fungicides including herbicides with similar modes of action to begin at Tier II testing level.

 

 13. Whereas the current EPA procedure of testing the LD50 of the active ingredients of formulated products does not measure the complete risk profile to honey bees be it resolved AHPA request EPA immediately implement new protocols to test formulated products to more accurately assess the risk to honey bees and the environment.

 

14. Whereas past testing protocols were deemed critically flawed by EPA, therefore be it resolved AHPA request EPA and USDA to adopt standard protocols for field testing of honeybees for risk assessment as recommended by NHBAB to include:

  • significant number of hives

  • significant control and subject areas

  • significant length of tests for Tier I, II, and III evaluations

 

15.  Be it resolved that the AHPA support research to address continued poor colony health and high annual mortality, and be it further resolved that AHPA work with other industry organizations, researchers, and other honey bee dependent industries to procure funding for research and solutions.

 

16. Whereas US bee labs are critical to honeybee research, be it resolved that AHPA go on record requesting USDA-ARS to:

 

  • update the facility at the Baton Rouge Honey Bee Research Unit

  • continue to support and increase funding for all current honey bee research labs

  • all labs should be fully staffed

 

17. Whereas the beekeeping industry wants and needs research from the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), therefore be it resolved that the AHPA suggest to the ARS a prioritized list of research areas that are most beneficial and necessary but not limited to the following:

  • Colony decline and mortality

  • Systemic/Sub-lethal effects of pesticides

  • Varroa Mite Research

  • Fungicides and Insect Growth Regulators (IGR)

  • Honeybee Viruses/ Varroa-Virus complex

  • Bee Genetics

  • Nosema apis and ceranae

  • Small hive beetle research

  • Practical wax moth control

  • Chalk brood

  • Biological controls for honeybee pests.

 

18. Be it resolved that the AHPA encourage the USDA to continue to appoint members of the AHPA to Apiculture Research and Review Committees for annual review of ARS research projects on honey bees and also the project plan review process.     

 

19. Whereas there is concern that live imported bees may carry known and unknown beehive pests and diseases, be it resolved AHPA go on record requesting continued suspension of all live honeybees, including queens and packages into the U.S. until further research proves they are disease and parasite free and contain no deleterious genetic material.

           

20. Whereas Aluminum Phosphide is labeled for use on honey comb, be it resolved that the AHPA request ARS to sponsor an IR-4 to work with pesticide registrants to amend the pesticide label where by all honey in comb may become a listed stored commodity.

 

21. Whereas the unfettered use of pesticides is causing significant loss of insect pollinators, including honeybees, be it resolved that the AHPA request the Environmental Hazards portion of Pesticide Labels be defined and fully enforced.

 

22. Whereas bee forage is critical to bee health and there has been large conversion from CRP to row crops, and Federal and State land offers potential place for bees to forage safely, be it resolved the AHPA encourages Federal and State land management agencies to implement bee access policy and studies to support these policies.

 

23. Whereas honeybees are suffering detrimental effects from unknown sources, be it resolved the AHPA goes on record requesting a national database be implemented to track the usage of pesticides nationwide.

 

24. Be it resolved that the AHPA request the US Department of Labor to reinstate beekeepers’ classification as farmers instead of farm labor contractors in the H2A program and work to improve and streamline the H-2A program so as to make it more user friendly and cost effective, or else to establish by statute a new guest worker program administered by USDA that includes greater flexibility and opportunities for beekeepers.

           

25. Whereas the AHPA was successful in achieving an uncapped and fully funded  ELAP program in response to the excessive loss of honey bees and economic burden it causes, therefore be it resolved that AHPA will continue to engage USDA on oversight and administration of the program to ensure program integrity and to minimize denials of claims for beekeepers.       

 

26. Be it resolved AHPA request USDA National Association State Departments of Ag to fund research of beneficial predators of crop pests and to develop economic models demonstrating their utility to cropping systems.

 

27. Whereas USDA has identified the causes of bee losses as multi-factorial and those factors being pests, pathogens, poor forage and pesticides and USDA has held a varroa summit and a forage summit to prospect and develop solutions be it resolved that the AHPA requests USDA to hold a pesticide summit.

 

28. Whereas the use of resin technologies can be used to circumvent country of origin identification be it resolved the AHPA opposes resin technologies designed to remove country of origin specific signatures.

           

29. Whereas good data is critical to good policy be it resolved that AHPA requests congress to direct and fund USDA/ERS to conduct an economic value chain study of honey bees to the economy as a whole.

 

30. Whereas EFB and AFB are extremely damaging to US beekeeping therefore be it resolved that we ask the FDA for a reinstatement of nonprescription sales of Tylosin and Terramycin for the treatment of these diseases.

 

31. Whereas honeybees are a necessary part of our national food security therefore be it resolved that AHPA request congress authorize a national assessment on all contract pollinated crops for the purpose of research to minimize losses and increase queen viability of the US honey bee industry.

 

32. Be it resolved the AHPA supports the efforts of the Pollinator Stewardship Council's January 2019 pesticide policy for protecting pollinators.

 

33. Be it resolved that American Honey Producers Association seeks recognition of the importance of

certain plant species, locally considered invasive, which are important to honey bees and wild pollinators as key sources of nectar and pollen, we, the American Honey Producers Association recognize the right of any land owner or farmer to remove any species considered a pest from land under their control; We do not recognize the right of any individual , group, state or federal agency to release or broadcast any general remedy which would endanger any plant species survival by crossing any individual, county or state boundaries and whereas it is impossible to keep biological remedies contained within property boundaries The AHPA resolves and states that any use of biological remedies to suppress plant species with intrinsic value to pollinators must be forbidden.

                  

34. Whereas the NHB eligibility requirements for the Producer seat on the NHB board has been lowered from a 150,000 lb 3 year average to a 50,000, average. Be it resolved the AHPA requests the first handler assessment be lower from the current 250,000 lb. to 50,000 lb. to reflect the benefits and activities of the NHB.

 

35. Be it resolved that the AHPA express deepest sympathy to the families of those who have lost their loved ones in the past year.

 

36. We would like to thank Pollinator Stewardship Council for all the work they have done for the industry.

 

37. The AHPA extends a sincere thank you to all those who have contributed to the success of the Annual AHPA Convention:

 

  • All of the informative speakers.

  • The AHPA volunteer staff

  • The Vendors & Dealers for their handsome display of wares, much needed coffee breaks, and advertising in the convention program.

  • All sponsors of the Welcome Reception.

  • All auction donors.

  • All the friendly and helpful staff of the hotel and meeting facilities for their cooperation and support before and during the convention.

  • All individuals who contributed to the success of the convention.

AMERICAN HONEY PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION

POLICY AGENDA 2019

I.        PRIORITY POLICY AGENDA

 

AHPA will work on the following federal policy and regulatory matters in 2019.  They are ordered below based on the numerical scores they received on AHPA’s member survey (December 2018).  While AHPA leadership will seek to prioritize work on these agenda items in accordance with the survey results, the reality is that all of them are important and specific activity at any given time is as much dictated by the broader Washington agenda as it is by our own preferences. This agenda is incorporated in the “2019 AHPA Resolutions" by reference. 

 

  1. Farm Bill Implementation/ Added Sugar (8.85):  work with Congress on oversight and FDA on implementation to ensure that the 2019 Farm Bill provision restricting “added sugars” labeling for honey is effectively implemented. 
     

  2.  Honey Integrity (8.6): continue to work with the 2 year old AHPA-established, industry-wide Honey Integrity Task Force to standardize definitions of honey, assess and standardize test methodologies for honey, advise on enforcement protocols at Customs and FDA, and work with retailers and marketers to educate on best practices with the end goal to limit the use and sale of adulterated honey in the United States.
     

  3.  EPA Regulation (7.2): continue work with EPA to ensure that crop protection tools are labeled sufficiently to notify applicators of risks to honeybees, and are registered or reviewed according to the pollinator risk assessment framework, among other risk mitigation efforts.
     

  4.  Glyphosate (7.1):  work with FDA to ensure that any tolerance set for honey does not limit the sale of honey in the United States.
     

  5.  Farm Bill Implementation / Conservation (7.0): work with Congress on oversight and  and USDA and our allies on implementation to improve the amount of pollinator friendly acreage included in the FSA and NRCS conservation programs.
     

  6.  Trade (6.46): work with the Department of Commerce and other trade officials to maintain the existing AD/CVD orders against China and to potentially seek new orders and/or tariffs, resources considered, against additional countries, to slow the supply of dumped and/or circumvented honey from China.  And at all times to continue efforts to aid in the collection and distribution of duties owed. 
     

  7.  Farm Bill Implementation / Research (5.98): work with Congress on oversight and  and USDA and our allies on implementation of honeybee and pollinator research programs, and to seek annual funding from Congress for such programs.
     

  8. Hours Of Service (5.8): continue working with DOT, Congress, and our allies in Washington to extend hours of service time for bee haulers and to delay compliance with the new ELOG requirements until a workable solution is enacted.
     

  9.  Immigration (5.8): work with Congress and our allies in Washington to improve the H-2A Program and/or establish a new immigration program so that beekeepers can more easily access workers, keep them here longer, and move them around the country more freely, among other things.
     

  10.  Farm Bill Implementation / ELAP (5.6): work with Congress on oversight and USDA and our allies on implementation to improve the administration of the program and to provide technical assistance to members filing claims, as needed.
     

  11.  Public Lands Access (5.2):  seek to improve beekeeper access to public lands by working with the national offices at the US Forrest Service, Bureau of Land Management and other overseers of multiple use lands to provide consistent guidance to local land managers on when and how to approve multi-year beekeeper permits for access to those lands, and to ensure manager’s are aware of the national priority preference for honey bee access.
     

  12.  Tallow (4.91):  continue to oppose a proposal before APHIS to release a bio control agent aimed at “controlling” the spread of Tallow (and invasive species but important to honey production) in the south and southeast parts of the United States.

 

 

II.       DISCRETIONARY POLICY AND REGULATORY AGENDA

 

Time, resources and opportunity considered, AHPA will endeavor to work on new issues that arise in 2019 or that are identified during the 2019 AHPA conference, whether those issues arise in the resolutions meeting or by way of written submissions to the executive board by AHPA members.  Such issues will be considered and voted upon by the AHPA Executive Board on a case by case basis before any federal engagement is commenced. 

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