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Why Are Your Oranges Covered With Antibiotics?

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

oranges sprayed with antibiotics

Story at-a-glance -

  • In December 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the “maximum level” of oxytetracycline for use in citrus fruits — just days after approving residues of the drug on fruit
  • The drug acts as a pesticide and is intended to suppress, but not cure, citrus greening disease, a devastating plant condition
  • The use of both oxytetracycline and streptomycin as pesticides on agricultural plants is banned in the European Union and Brazil, amid rising concerns over antibiotic resistance
  • The state of Florida could end up using 36 times more streptomycin and four times more oxytetracycline on citrus trees than are used in Americans in a year

Oranges are one of the most popular fruits in the U.S., but be aware that soon you may be sinking your teeth into an orange doused in antibiotics such as streptomycin and oxytetracycline, medications that are medically important to humans.

In December 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the “maximum level” of oxytetracycline for use in citrus fruits — just days after approving residues of the drug on fruit.


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