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Surprise: Organic apples and pears aren’t free of antibiotics

| | April 12, 2013

The following is an excerpt.

Apples and especially pears are vulnerable to a nasty bacterial infection called fire blight that, left unchecked, can spread quickly, killing fruit trees and sometimes devastating whole orchards.

“It’s basically like a gangrene of your limbs. It’s hard to stop” once it takes hold, says Ken Johnson, a plant pathologist at Oregon State University.

It’s such a big threat that for decades, growers have seen two antibiotics, streptomycin and oxytetracycline, as vital weapons in the fight to control the disease — even on organic apples and pears.

But their use has raised questions about transparency in organic labeling, amid concerns about the overuse of antibiotics in food production.

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“This isn’t what consumers expect out of organics,” says Urvashi Rangan, the director of consumer safety and sustainability at Consumer Reports. “Organic is supposed to be consistent in meaning,” she tells The Salt.

View the original article here: Surprise: Organic Apples And Pears Aren’t Free Of Antibiotics

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
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