Over Dose

Citrus Crops to Receive Human Antibiotics




Vadarshop/Shutterstock.com

Scientists at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) expressed concern over a recent ruling by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that opens the door to widespread use of the antibiotics streptomycin and oxytetracycline to spray commercial citrus crops. The antibiotics, which are often used on people, can kill insects that transmit a bacterium that causes citrus greening, which renders fruit small and bitter. But the EPA ultimately ruled that the economic benefits outweigh concerns about antibiotic resistance and potential harm to the environment, people and wildlife. The USDA says the amount of antibiotic exposure to people who eat fruit or juices still will be far less than what people are exposed to when prescribed antibiotics by their doctor. The antibiotics will have to be sprayed repeatedly over years just to keep the trees alive and producing fruit until they succumb to citrus greening. Public interest groups are protesting the action.


This article appears in the April 2019 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

Bringing Up Kitty

Adorable as new kittens are, they need the right conditions, from bedding to food to scratching surfaces—and a proper introduction to their new home—to thrive.

Loving Nature

In a time in which digital devices often rule, kids will happily head outdoors for adventures involving gardens, bugs and birds that spark their interest and creativity.

Potluck for the 21st Century

Using phone apps as well as workplace and neighborhood contacts, friends and strangers are coming together to share healthy, home-cooked meals.

Household Cleaning Products Affect Babies’ Guts and Weight

Canadian toddlers in households that used chemical disinfectants at least once a week had disturbed gut microbes and higher body mass index scores than toddlers in households that used vinegar or other eco-friendly cleaners.

Smoking Bans Lower Blood Pressure

Non-smokers in areas that have banned smoking in public space have lower systolic blood pressure.

Add your comment: