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19
Mar

Act Before Midnight Tonight to Stop Antibiotic Use in Organic Apple and Pear Production

(Beyond Pesticides, March 19, 2013) The phase-out of antibiotic use in apple and pear production may continue beyond 2014 unless the public speaks out. Luckily, unlike the closed-door meetings that surround the rulemaking process in other government agencies, organic regulations are unique because they include a key ingredient: you, the public.

Twice a year, the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) solicits comments from the public on materials petitioned for use in organic, and issues of concern to the organic community.

organicBelow is a brief summary of select issues and proposed materials that are up for review at the Spring 2013 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting.

Your participation is vital as it will help determine the future of organic in the United States:

  • Will antibiotics continue to be allowed in apple and pear production after years of delay?
  • Will “inert” ingredients be reviewed after a workable policy for addressing them has now been developed?
  • Will “other” ingredients continue to be surreptitiously added to organic food without review?

Your input is needed before midnight on Tuesday, March 19 to ensure that the NOSB keeps these and other hazardous synthetic substances out of organics. These materials are dangerous to our health and the environment, and are unnecessary in organic food production.

Please take a few minutes to review the issues below and let the NOSB and USDA know what you think. Or, if you’ve already commented, ask someone else to make their voice heard. Submit your comments before midnight, March 19, 2013!

For more detailed information, see Beyond Pesticides organic action webpage.

Keep These Harmful Synthetics Out of Organic

Tetracycline: Antibiotics don’t belong anywhere in organic production. The use of tetracycline to control fire blight in apples and pears meets none of the criteria of the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA). It presents significant adverse impacts to human health and the environment, is incompatible with organic and sustainable agriculture, and is not essential. The Board set a 2014 phase-out date and is now considering continued use in response to a petition from the apple industry.

Other Ingredients: There should be no such thing as “secret ingredients” in organic food. All ingredients, even “ingredients within ingredients” should be subject to review and oversight by the NOSB. Any ingredient of any kind in food labeled organic should be barred unless it is on the National List of Allowed Substances.

Inerts: Since the Crops Subcommittee has created a workable policy to review so called “inert” ingredients, the process should begin immediately. Ingredients of pesticide products that are labeled as “inert” are generally not physically, chemically, or toxicologically inert. The use of a word that commonly means “harmless” has led policy makers and the public to discount the problems that might be caused by these chemicals. Therefore these ingredients must be reviewed immediately.

Polyoxin D Zinc Salt: As a broad spectrum fungicide, Polyoxin D is inherently incompatible with the basic principles of organic production. There are significant concerns about the capacity of this material to negatively affect non-target organisms, including beneficial fungi, insects, and aquatic species.

Indole-3-butyric acid (IBA):
IBA is a plant hormone in the auxin family and is an ingredient in many commercial horticultural plant rooting products. However, this use of IBA does not meet organic standards—it does not fit into a category of allowed synthetic inputs, its health and environmental effects are not sufficiently known, there is no demonstrable need for IBA, and finally, it is inconsistent with a system of organic agriculture.

DBDMH: As an antimicrobial wash in meat packing, DBDMH is expected to have detrimental impacts to soil microorganisms, its products are toxic and tend to persist in the environment, and most importantly, DBDMH is “extremely destructive to the tissue of the mucous membranes and upper respiratory tract,” posing a threat to workers handling DBDMH.

Keep GMOs Out of Organic Food

GMO and Seed Purity: Preventing contamination of organic crops by genetically engineered (GE) organisms is important to maintaining organic integrity. Organic growers need seeds that are not contaminated by GE genes, and that costs should be borne by the GE seed patent holders, who are responsible for the costs associated with their products.

Take Action!

You can submit your comments directly to USDA, by clicking this link. Please note that only the fields with an asterisk are required for entry, for organization name feel free to put “Private Citizen.”

To learn more about the issues before the NOSB, see Beyond Pesticides’ Keeping Organic Strong webpage, which has our summary and positions on each of the issues, suggested language, and instructions on how to ensure your views are counted. Submit your comments before midnight, March 19.

Thank you!

Share

16 Responses to “Act Before Midnight Tonight to Stop Antibiotic Use in Organic Apple and Pear Production”

  1. 1
    Kelly Carmichael Says:

    It has taken a long time to educate the public on the benefits of organics. To allow these changes would be an attack the integrity of the label.

    As a Mother, the health of the food I put on the table is one of my most important jobs. I will not support an industry who put profit before health and I’m sure Mothers across North America feel the the same. STOP BOWING TO THE PRESSURE OF THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY – they’re ROI is more important than our children!!!

  2. 2
    Valerie Tourangeau Says:

    Please NO GMOs or antibiotics allowed in organic apples, pears or other organic products.

  3. 3
    Michele Kunze Says:

    We need to stop putting it in our foods.

  4. 4
    Louise Azzoli Says:

    Thank You Beyond Pesticides! Keeping a truly Organic product is truly the salvation of the earth and we who live on it. I agree with all you recommendations. We who eat organic don’t want to be deceived. Products with GMO should all be labled. People want to know what their eating. Keep working for the well being of all. God Bless your efforts.

  5. 5
    David Rupp Says:

    Please Stop!!!

  6. 6
    Private Citizen Says:

    Keep our food clean for the health of America!

  7. 7
    fatima roland Says:

    I will stop buying organic food all together if the integrity of organic products are compromised.

  8. 8
    erin Says:

    you cant keep poisoning us all forver once we are dead who will buy your fruit?

  9. 9
    Deborah Raley Says:

    Keep our Organic fruit free of drugs and chemicals… we pay a high price for clean natural food… don’t mess it up!

  10. 10
    Lita Durr Says:

    Keep all extraneous items out of our food. Leave it pure and simple as how it naturally grows.

  11. 11
    Hanzel Rodriguez Says:

    How can you trade lives for profit? would you feed your child this ?

  12. 12
    Linda Ruiz Says:

    Please do not extend the use of antibiotics in organic apple and pear production.
    If the meaning of Organic is weakened, the consumer will not only be cheated, but will lose faith in the movement to restore health to our foods. I believe we all need to take definite steps to protect our environment now.
    –From a Cree Indian Prophecy, “Only after the last tree has been cut down. Only after the last river has been poisoned. Only after the last fish has been caught. Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.”

  13. 13
    dereck noyes Says:

    keep our organics free of gmo’s and pesticides!

  14. 14
    Emma Says:

    Keep GMO out of all Foods!!

  15. 15
    Carl Says:

    I can’t help but feel disappointment in organic consumers after reading this article and subsequent comments. Specifically on Tetracycline: There is no risk to the consumer, these [Tetracycline and Streptomycin], which are applied at bloom time; break down in four days, less when it is sunny and in a matter of hours when it is raining. There are no detectable levels of residues left at harvest. Secondly there are no human pathogens present on the bloom therefore the risk of developing antibiotic resistant human pathogens is non-existant. Finally these are organic producers. They are not using this allowed synthetic frivolously; because despite what this article suggests, there are no viable alternatives for fire blight control at this time. There has been promising success with a combination of biological controls and copper sprays however they are still inconsistent at best. The organic industry is in support of phasing out these allowed synthetics but are looking for more time to discover viable alternatives. Hence why they requested a two year extension, still 1 year short of the initial review date of 2017.

  16. 16
    Sally Emery Says:

    I often wonder what you people feed yourselves and children. Pesticides are deadly to humankind!! Stop poisoning US!!!

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