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FARM BILL PASSES HOUSE, INCLUDES MEASURES TO FIGHT COFFEE BERRY BORER

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the long-debated U.S. Farm Bill, a comprehensive law covering wide-ranging measures constituting the nation’s agricultural and food policy. Notably, the bill includes language that enables federal initiatives to control the invasive coffee berry borer insect. The language was appended to the bill through an amendment sponsored by Congress Member Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii).

The language included in the bill passed by the House today is as follows:

Coffee Plant Health Initiative: Research and extension grants may be made under this section for the purpose of developing and disseminating science-based tools and treatments to combat the coffee berry borer (Hypothenemus hampei); and establishing an area-wide integrated pest management program in areas affected by, or areas at risk of, being affected by the coffee berry borer.

Additionally, a rider to the bill includes the following “high-priority research and extension initiative”:

A coffee plant health initiative is authorized as well as the authorization of appropriations through 2018.

The bill now goes to the U.S. Senate, where a vote is expected as early as tomorrow.