On July 25, USCA President Rob Rynning testified before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry on U.S. canola interests in the next farm bill. He requested an incentive to include canola and/or sunflowers in cropping rotations to provide habitat for honey bees. "Maintaining the acreage of cropland planted annually to these two crops is essential to the continued viability of the honey bee industry; and increasing the acreage by just 2-3 million acres across the U.S. would have an immediate positive impact on honey bee health," he said. Following the hearing, Rynning met to discuss the honey bee habitat proposal with staff from the offices of Senators Heitkamp, Hoeven, Klobuchar and Thune.
On July 21, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a qualified health claim for soybean oil and its ability to reduce the risk of heart disease when used in place of saturated fat – the same claim canola oil received in October 2006 – in response to a petition filed by Bunge North America in February 2016. According to Dr. Mark Stavro, Bunge’s senior director of marketing, soybean oil has lost share as users turned away from trans fats, transitioning to canola and palm oils. Plus canola oil has benefited from a “health halo” due to its health claim. “In addition, 55 percent of U.S. consumers are trying to avoid or reduce saturated fat in their diet, and almost 40 percent are trying to incorporate healthier fats,” Bunge said.