Antibiotics Rejected In Organic Food Production

Last month we reported that USDA’s organic board was considering whether to allow continued use of antibiotics sprayed on organic apple and pear trees.   

Good news is hard to find these days, but here is some:

Yesterday the National Organic Standards Board voted NOT to allow spraying to continue.

They rejected a petition to extend the expiration date for the use of oxytetracycline to treat fire blight in apple and pear production beyond Oct. 21, 2014.

The decision is a victory for the organic standard and advances efforts to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics.

The vote came after a long and controversial debate because some apple and pear growers do not believe they have adequate alternatives to antibiotics.

Consumer and environmental advocates urged them to end the use of tetracycline as soon as possible in order to meet consumer expectations and to respond to mounting evidence that antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a serious threat to public health. Antibiotics are not allowed in any organic foods, including production of organic livestock.

Read our coverage on this topic.

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