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Mmmmm, fresh, organic streptomycin and tetracycline in every bite

Saturday, July 13, 2013 by: Antonia
Tags: antibiotics, organic produce, streptomycin

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(NaturalNews) Does an apple a day keep the bacteria away? Only if you haven't already developed a resistance.

A recent Natural News story indicated that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)'s National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is passing apples and pears as organic even though they contain the two antibiotic drugs streptomycin and tetracycline.

What's interesting is that U.S. grown apples and pears that are provided to the European Union (EU) abide by the EU's provisions of not allowing any antibiotics use in agriculture, so the antibiotics are not present in the exported fruit, only in locally sold produce.

The intent though is to phase out their use locally by October 14, 2014 but with heavy lobbying, for whatever reason, from some of the top "organic" fruit growers, the phase-out may not take place for another two years, keeping the safety of the public at unnecessary risk.

Why treat the fruit with antibiotics at all?

Some apple and pear trees, and others from the rose family, are sometimes affected by a contagious disease called fire blight.

This disease, when given its freedom can destroy an entire orchard in one growing season. The affected areas of the tree and fruit appear blackened as if they were burned by fire, hence the name fireblight.

To prevent new infection, sprays of the antibiotics streptomycin or terramycin are often used, which have led to streptomycin-resistant bacteria in some areas.

If infected wood is removed in time (before spreading to the roots), the rest of the plant can be saved.

Natural remedies for fire blight

Clearly, other methods for controlling and managing fireblight exist, and methods that satisfy the European Union will hopefully be put in place in the U.S. in the short term.

Some growers recommend concoctions with garlic and neem oil, with some other approaches discussed by Howard Garrett:

"Prune back into healthy tissue and disinfect pruning tools with a three percent solution of hydrogen peroxide. Spray plants at first sign of disease with Garrett Juice plus garlic and/or neem."

"Kocide 101 is a copper based fungicide often recommended, some consider this organic, we don't. Treat the soil with whole ground cornmeal, or apply the entire Sick Tree Treatment and reduce the nitrogen fertilizer. High-nitrogen, synthetic fertilizers are the primary cause of this disease."

As a reminder, a petition can be signed prior to April 8th, to get antibiotics out of organic apples and pears.

Sources for this article include:


About the author:
A science enthusiast with a keen interest in health nutrition, Antonia has been intensely researching various dieting routines for several years now, weighing their highs and their lows, to bring readers the most interesting info and news in the field. While she is very excited about a high raw diet, she likes to keep a fair and balanced approach towards non-raw methods of food preparation as well. >>> Click here to see more by Antonia

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