online gardening course
Permies likes organic and the farmer likes Spraying antibiotics on fruit trees is organic??? WTF permies
  Search | Permaculture Wiki | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies | World Domination!
Register / Login
permies » forums » growies » organic
Bookmark "Spraying antibiotics on fruit trees is organic??? WTF" Watch "Spraying antibiotics on fruit trees is organic??? WTF" New topic

Spraying antibiotics on fruit trees is organic??? WTF


Joined: Aug 23, 2010
Posts: 20
I just came across this link:

I can't believe first that it is allowed to spray tetracycline and streptomycin on fruit trees. Secondly, I can't believe this is considered "Organic". I guess this is what happens when "certified organic" becomes big business eh?

I remember as a kid using those antibiotics - they are probably useless now.

Ken Peavey

Joined: Dec 21, 2009
Posts: 2523
Location: FL
Materials which can be applied to Certified Organic crops must be listed with the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI). You can download their lists of approved materials on their download page.

There are 3 lists:
  • Crop products (.pdf)
  • Livestock Products .pdf
  • Processing and Handling products .pdf

  • Looking at the crop products list, Streptomycin Sulfate is in there. It is produced by bacteria. The claim would be that it is organic for this reason.
    I once had a discussion with a senior manager at a phosphate plant who claimed their products were 'natural' because they came from the earth. My view was that the stuff is processed and refined, which alters its 'natural' properties.

    The lists are replete with products which a 'natural grower, such as myself, would find questionable.
  • Mycoshield® NuFarm Americas, Inc. CP Tetracycline
  • EARTH OPTIONS BY Raid™ insecticidal soap § S.C. Johnson & Son Inc CP Soap – pesticide
  • Epsom Salt Giles Chemical, a Division of Premier Magnesia, LLC § CF Magnesium Sulfate – synthetic
  • GreenClean® Broad Spectrum Algaecide/Bactericide Liquid § BioSafe Systems CP Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Muriate of Potash 0-0-62 Untreated Fine § Mosaic Crop Nutrition, LLC CF Potassium Chloride (KCl)

  • Know Your Farmer!
    The best defense, if you don't grow/raise your own food, is to get down to the farm, see the process, talk with the farmer, meet the livestock, look at the crops.

    Seed the Mind, Harvest Ideas.

    Joined: Aug 23, 2010
    Posts: 20
    Know your farmer indeed. It would be ironic if growing organic harmed people more indirectly through contributing to antibiotic resistance than conventional use of pesticides.

    Ken Peavey

    Joined: Dec 21, 2009
    Posts: 2523
    Location: FL
    The spirit of organic growing has been lost to commercialization. What was once healthy and natural, and priced accordingly, has been corrupted by large interests trying to do the same thing they have been: mass production with minimal labor for maximum return. Large scale organic growing is a monoculture with borderline synthetic inputs applied mechanically. Put the brand on the product, move it through the pipeline. I've seen organic produce with a 'Grown in Equador' sticker. There is no way to verify that product.

    That tetracycline is listed by OMRI tells me the growers are doing the same thing as before-looking for a treatment to a problem. They simply use a different chart to look up the solution. Crops grown the way nature intended don't need treatment-nature provides it. If there is a fungus on a crop of leafy greens the fungus is not the problem. Part of the problem is too much monoculture, depleted soil, and a damaged ecosystem. The other part of the problem is the grower not following the spirit of organic growing in looking for a natural solution.

    Certified Organic has lost its meaning.
    Tyler Ludens

    Joined: Jun 25, 2010
    Posts: 5723
    Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    It's very disheartening to know that commercial organic is bad for our health and the rest of the living world. It's only incrementally better than conventional. The only thing we can do is try to raise our own food and encourage other people to do the same, using natural methods. I have a personal strong feeling against using any products meant to kill. "Antibiotic" means "against life".

    Idle dreamer

    Chris Dean

    Joined: Nov 07, 2009
    Posts: 108
    Location: South New Mexico Mountains
    Like everyone's said, know thy farmer. Community and local farming/gardening are the only ways to really know what you're putting in your body.
    subject: Spraying antibiotics on fruit trees is organic??? WTF