Antibiotic to be Discontinued in Organic Apple & Pear Production
In April, 2013, the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) rejected a petition to extend the expiration date for the use of oxytetracycline to treat fire blight in apple and pear production beyond October, 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 don’t 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 aren’t allowed in any other types of organic food, including production of organic livestock.
Organic Connections applauds the Board for making the right decision to end the use of this antibiotic as soon as possible and believes this time line for ending the use of tetracycline is consistent with consumer expectations. This decision will drive the organic apple and pear market to a higher standard. Thank God – a small win for those who don’t want to be poisoned to death!
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