Below is a message from American Beekeeping Federation President Dan Winter. WHPA members – and non-members too – are encouraged to contact their federal Congressmen and Senators to encourage support for the HIVE Act. For questions about the HIVE Act, please contact Doug Koltermann, WHPA Legislative Committee Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org
We need your help! Congressman Kelly Armstrong from North Dakota has introduced legislation this summer which address many of the concerns our industry has had for many years. The bill is the Honey Integrity and Verification Enforcement Act (H.R. 4764). Passage of the HIVE ACT is very important to all U.S. honey producers both large and small. Read Congressman Armstrong’s introduction of H.R. 4764, the Honey Identification Verification and Enforcement (HIVE) Act, what this legislation will do and why its enactment into law is a positive step for our industry.
The HIVE Act would:
- Require the Food and Drug Administration to finally establish a standard of identity for honey and subsequently report to Congress on enforcement actions taken with respect to adulterated or misbranded honey.
- Reorganize the existing US Department of Agriculture country of origin labeling requirements by utilizing the consumer-familiar ingredient labeling criteria.
- Countries of origin would be listed in order of predominance, allowing the consumer to discern the origin of blended honey.
With the creation of manufactured or synthetic honey very close we need Congress to pass the HIVE Act now so the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be required to establish a Standard of Identity (SOI) for honey. This is something American Beekeeping Federation has advocated for decades but the FDA as refused all requests and petitions to establish a standard for honey. The agency has a long list of reasons they have not established a SOI for honey. Only through a change in legislation will they do what is need -defining exactly what honey is and what it is not. Manufactured “honey” is syrup plain and simple and should never be labeled as honey. It looks, tastes, granulates, and cooks like natural honey but neither a bee nor flower has contributed to its creation. The consequences of this manufactured product being called “honey” is real honey will be replaced with this synthetic product based on price resulting in two-thirds of real honey usage being displaced by this manufactured product.
What to do:
Please send a simple letter to your Representative and Senators in Washington D.C. Please use the HIVE Act Support SAMPLE LETTER. This letter can be emailed directly to your congressman and senators offices. After sending the letter(s) please follow up with a call to their offices and politely ask if they received your letter and have they decided to co-sponsor the HIVE Act. Also ask if they or their staff have any questions you can answer. This legislation needs to become law.
To assist you in finding your elected officials, go to: https://www.contactmypolitician.com
Regards,Dan Winter, President
American Beekeeping Federation