The House Agriculture Biotechnology Subcommittee held a public hearing Wednesday to review the federal coordination and response regarding pollinator health. Subcommittee Chair Rodney Davis says pollinators play an important role in ag production. Last year - President Obama issued an Executive Memorandum that established a White House Task Force to review pollinator health. Agencies and Departments were ordered to work together to develop a National Pollinator Health Strategy - but communication has been inconsistent..

The Organic Trade Association has petitioned USDA for a checkoff program to raise money for research and promotion. In a statement - OTA’s Laura Batcha says the organic industry is thriving and maturing in America - but is at a critical juncture. Batcha says the meaning of USDA’s organic seal is not clear to many consumers and organic production isn’t keeping pace with the robust demand. She says a checkoff program would give organic stakeholders the opportunity to collectively invest in research, build domestic supply and communicate the value of the organic brand to advance the entire industry to a new level.