Organic standards decisions

This article was originally published in June 2013

apples pears

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) has voted to end a controversial allowance for antibiotic sprays to be used in organic apple and pear production. The vote to “sunset” tetracycline was 9 to 6, and came after days of spirited testimony by an array of stakeholders.

PCC’s comments to the NOSB supported “sunsetting” the allowance, as scheduled in October 2014, without another extension. Other testimony included concerns about encouraging antibiotic-resistant strains.

In other actions, NOSB unanimously rejected several petitions asking that certain materials be allowed for use in organic foods. These included unanimous rejection of conventional sugar beet fiber, DBDMH (an antimicrobial treatment in meat processing) and sulphuric acid (extraction of seaweed for nutraceuticals).

The NOSB will continue discussion at the fall meeting on a seed purity standard for presence of genetically engineered traits.

Learn more: Antibiotics for organic apples and pears?, Sound Consumer, April 2013.

Also in this issue

What shrimp is sustainable?

Shrimp is the most popular seafood in the United States — Americans collectively consume more than 1 billion pounds of it every year. About 90 percent is imported from overseas, primarily Asia and Latin America.

Soil & Sea: reports from our producers

The cherry crop could be smaller this year, food prices continue to rise, and bluefin tuna are functionally exctinct. But not all food news is bad this month: Seafood Watch has upgraded the sustainability status of several species of fish.

Letters to the editor, June 2013

Colony Collapse Disorder, Eden Foods healthcare position, Food Waste, and more