As an organic consumer, I believe that spraying antibiotics on organic apple and pear trees goes against the principles of organic. While the organic rules prohibit the use of antibiotics to treat livestock and poultry and to incorporate it into their feed, the exception for apples and pears is unacceptable and has gone on far too long.
Streptomycin and tetracycline are the only antibiotics that have ever been allowed in organic systems. Just as organic consumers have vehemently opposed the use of tetracycline, we want the use of streptomycin to stop as well.
Most concerning to me is the public health threat posed by the continued use of streptomycin. Once resistant genes are present in any bacteria, the pool of resistance increases and spreads. The most resilient bacteria survive and reproduce and that’s how resistance grows. This increasingly diminishes the ability of antibiotics to treat human and animal infections. It is imperative that the NOSB act now to prohibit all antibiotics in organic.
I urge the NOSB to stick to the agreed upon end date of October 14, 2014 for streptomycin use in organic apple and pear production, and I strongly oppose an extension of any kind.
Center for Food Safety
This petition closed over 1 year ago
In April, we urged organic supporters to sign our petition to end tetracycline use in organic apple and pear orchards—and thanks to your action, we won. With your help, we convinced the National...
In April, we urged organic supporters to sign our petition to end tetracycline use in organic apple and pear orchards—and thanks to your action, we won. With your help, we convinced the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) to stop the use of this antibiotic in 2014. But, there's one more antibiotic that some organic apple and pear farmers still use – streptomycin.
Tell the NOSB that antibiotics don't belong in organics!
Like tetracycline, streptomycin is sprayed to prevent the spread of fire blight, a disease that can damage organic apple and pear orchards. Resistance to streptomycin is already widespread in apple and pear orchards around the country. In fact, residues of the drug have been found in apples from orchards sprayed with the antibiotic.
Streptomycin is commonly used to treat human and animal infections, and its use in organic production undermines the ability of antibiotics to treat human infections. Given the mounting evidence of antibiotic resistance, the time is ripe to prohibit all antibiotics in organic once and for all.
Sign the petition to tell the NOSB that enough is enough—antibiotic drugs have no place in organic production, and the use of streptomycin must come to an end.