Aussie organic okays acid to fight Canker in citrus

August 27, 2004, as reported by just-food.com: A relaxing of Australian Certified Organic (ACO) regulations has relieved Australian organic citrus growers of a major quandary: how to control Canker and still retain organic status?

For around two months, organic citrus growers have been forced to forgo selling their produce as organic after the highly contagious bacterial disease, Canker, was identified on a Queensland property in early July this year.

Part of the stringent requirements brought in to control the disease included a mandatory chemically charged post-harvest treatment for citrus. Given the rare nature of the outbreak, there were no chemical sanitizers allowed for organic citrus producers to treat their fruit without compromising their organic status.

To remedy the situation peracetic acid, a previously restricted product, has been given interim approval by the organic industry regulator, Australian Inspection and Quarantine Service (AQIS), for the control of citrus canker in organic systems.

“This is a real breakthrough for organic and conventional producers alike,” said Catriona Mills, managing director of Australian Certified Organic.