Provisions Increase Funds for Pollinator Protection
(Washington, DC) Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2997, the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2010 by a vote of 266-160. Included in the Act were two amendments introduced by Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-Miramar). Both amendments increase funding for research into pollinator decline and Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).
“Congress must continue to secure the necessary funding to proactively address pollinator decline. The fact of the matter is that pollinators are responsible for vast portions of our food supply and exported crops, which makes their decline an urgent matter of economic and food security,” said Hastings. “Without an adequate supply of natural pollinators, many crops would require hand pollination, which would dramatically raise crop prices.”
In the 110th Congress, Hastings introduced the first legislation to investigate the cause of Colony Collapse Disorder, H.R. 1709, the Pollinator Protection Act. This legislation was supported by a bipartisan coalition of 52 co-sponsors and sought to bolster funding for the initiatives addressed in Hastings’ recent amendments. The Pollinator Protection Act was later incorporated into HR 2419, the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, often referred to as the Farm Bill (Public Law No: 110-234).
“My amendments ensure that funds are directed towards competitive grants offered by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and funding for the Agricultural Research Service, both of which are programs at the forefront of research into Colony Collapse Disorder and the problem of pollinator decline. My mission is to ensure that these programs will receive adequate funding from Congress so that they can continue their vital work.”
“These amendments help to guarantee that our Nation’s food supply remains plentiful and affordable to the many American who are struggling during our current economic downturn. I thank the members of Congress who recognized the importance of these vital provisions.”
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings is Vice Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, a senior member of the House Rules Committee, and Co-Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission.