Well, in another example of people power, the NOSB listened to our concerns and won't allow the use of tetracycline in apple and pear orchards past 2014. Here's the email I just received from CFS detailing the news:
"Yesterday we scored an important victory to end the use of antibiotics in organic apple and pear production and to uphold organic integrity!
"Thank you for your support!Have a nice weekend and the next victory will be for the labeling of foods containing genetically-engineered ingredients!
"Thanks to the more than 30,000 CFS members like you who signed our petition and to the good work of our allies like Consumers Union, Food and Water Watch, and others, we convinced the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) to not extend the allowance of the antibiotic tetracycline beyond 2014 for organic apple and pear production!
"This decision is a victory for the organic standards and advances efforts to preserve the continued effectiveness of antibiotics. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are a serious threat to public health, and the World Health Organization has labeled tetracycline a 'critically important' drug for combating human infections. Antibiotics are not allowed in the production of any other organic food, including organic poultry and livestock.
"The vote came after extended public testimony where some apple and pear growers testified about concerns that they may not have adequate alternatives to prevent fire blight disease that could arise in their orchards. But, as scientists discussed at the meeting, a range of orchard management practices, as well as a substitute for the use of tetracycline, will be available this year. And, orchardists still have two growing seasons to phase out the use of tetracycline.
"CFS believes the Board made the right decision and we could not have achieved this important victory without you—thank you!
"PS – For more background information and campaign updates on our work protecting the Organic Standards, visit our website."