Organic Now 100% Antibiotic-Free!

Thank you for taking action to get antibiotics out of organic.

We won!

On May 2, 2014, the National Organic Standards Board voted to end the use of streptomycin, the only remaining exception to the prohibition on the use of antibiotics in organic, as of October 2014.

Some organic apple and pear growers wanted the NOSB to extend the deadline. They argued that they needed the drug to treat fire blight, a bacterial disease that kills the shoots of trees, giving them the appearance of having been scorched by fire. 

But there are other ways to control fire blight, that don’t involve the use of antibiotics. In fact, U.S. growers exporting to the European Union (E.U.) comply with the E.U. rule that says apples and pears must be produced without antibiotics to be sold as organic. Dozens of E.U.-compliant Pacific Northwest organic orchardists have successfully used a systems approach to non-antibiotic fire blight control. Additionally, there are some apple and pear varieties that are naturally resistant to fire blight. 

The Organic Consumers Association submitted a total of 74,845 petition signatures and unique comments from organic consumers, including your signature on Causes, asking the NOSB to vote to remove streptomycin from the National List of synthetics allowed in organic.

The NOSB has been officially in favor of a phase-out of streptomycin use on organic apples and pears since 1995. Yet each time the industry has asked for an extension of the rule that allows them to use it, the NOSB has capitulated. Until now.

USDA Organic is now 100-percent antibiotic-free!

to comment