Canola is the perfect habitat for honey bees and farmers should be incented to plant it to improve bee health, notes USCA Assistant Director Dale Thorenson in the latest blog on UScanola.com. He discusses why the health of American honey bees has declined in recent years and how farm groups can help. The USCA has been in negotiations with Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), the National Sunflower Association and American Honey Producers Association to incentivize canola and sunflower acreage, which would provide more honey bee habitat. Last month, Hietkamp urged the Natural Resources Conservation Service to create such an incentive administratively.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is currently accepting comments on a Nuseed Americas Inc. petition to deregulate canola genetically engineered for an altered oil profile. U.S. Canola Association (USCA) President Rob Rynning submitted a letter to John Turner, director of APHIS’s Environmental Risk Analysis Programs warning against deregulation. “The canola industry has a responsibility to maintain a robust science-based regulatory approval process,” he wrote. “Without it, there would be severe consequences for the canola industry around the world.” Rynning also notes that the current petition would negatively impact the entire canola market as a result of a lack of stewardship and Good Laboratory Practices.