CropLife America (CLA) commends the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology, and Foreign Agriculture for holding a public hearing Tuesday to discuss approaches to managing potential threats to pollinators, and looks forward to a continued balanced dialogue on pollinator health. Witnesses who were called to testify during the hearing included Dan Cummings, CEO, Capay Farms and CFO, Olivarez Honey Bees; David Fischer, director, environmental toxicology and risk assessment, Bayer CropScience; Jeffery Pettis, research leader, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service; and Jeff Stone, executive director and CEO, Oregon Association of Nurseries.

Witnesses at the hearing testified about a number of factors that influence honeybees and other pollinators, including parasitic Varroa mites, beekeeping management practices, lack of adequate nutrition and forage and various other diseases. Pesticide applications and proper stewardship of crop protection products were also topics of discussion. The USDA and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) affirmed that these multiple factors work together to impact honeybees in the “Report on the National Stakeholders Conference on Honey Bee Health” that the agencies jointly released in 2013.

“We commend the House Committee on Agriculture for convening today’s hearing and inviting knowledgeable witnesses from differing backgrounds to discuss approaches for improving pollinator health,” commented Jay Vroom, president and CEO of CLA. “One thing that we hope was made clear during the hearing was the crop protection industry’s commitment to addressing this issue, evidenced specifically through our ongoing support of scientific research and product stewardship, and in partnerships with other public and private stakeholders.”

Beau Greenwood, CLA’s executive vice president of government relations and public affairs, said, “Today’s Subcommittee hearing provided the opportunity to bring balance to the public dialogue around pollinator health. From this vantage point, we can continue to develop and implement comprehensive and responsible strategies for improving pollinator health based on sound science and research, and not be distracted by appeals to emotion that have little to do with addressing the underlying issue." Greenwood concluded, "CLA thanks Subcommittee chairman Austin Scott (R-Ga.) and Representative Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) for their leadership on this important matter."

For more information about pollinator health, visit http://www.croplifeamerica.org/pesticide-issues/protecting-our-pollinators.