EPA proposal will allow antibiotic spraying of citrus crops

EPA proposal will allow antibiotic spraying of citrus crops
(HealthDay)—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposal to allow use of the antibiotic streptomycin to treat citrus disease should be withdrawn because it poses a risk to human health and the environment, Consumer Reports says.

The move would lead to "a 26-fold increase in the use of streptomycin in plant agriculture and could trigger that would reduce the drug's effectiveness in treating diseases in people," the warned in a news release.

"This misguided proposal would allow a massive increase in the use of streptomycin—far greater than its use in human medicine," Michael Hansen, Ph.D., senior staff scientist at Consumer Reports, said in the news release. "The EPA has failed to adequately investigate the risks associated with this proposal, which would undermine current government efforts to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics. We urge the EPA to withdraw this proposal."

The EPA proposal would allow streptomycin to be sprayed on all citrus trees in the United States up to three times a year. Based on current commercial citrus acreage, the amount allowed to be sprayed would total more than 942,000 lb, according to Consumer Reports. The group noted that other federal agencies have taken steps to reduce overuse of antibiotics in agriculture and human medicine.


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Citation: EPA proposal will allow antibiotic spraying of citrus crops (2019, March 18) retrieved 17 June 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-03-epa-antibiotic-citrus-crops.html
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Mar 18, 2019
What kind of EPA would do something like this?

Both the European Union and Brazil have banned the use of oxytetracycline and streptomycin for use as a pesticide on agricultural plants.

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