An audit for coconut palms on OTC antibiotic

One of many palm plants which have fallen prey to the disease

An island-wide audit of coconut trees known to be on a treatment programme for the disease, lethal yellowing, is due to begin this week.

The head of the Plant Protection Unit, Dr. Janil Gore Francis says the body will conduct the two-week survey.

The treatment she referred to for lethal yellowing, is the antibiotic Oxytetracycline hydrochloride also known as O.T.C.

Stringent regulations are in place for its use in Antigua…

Dr. Gore-Francis says the audit is to make sure that the fruit of coconut trees being treated with O.T.C, do not end up in the food chain as has been reported to her department.

She was speaking on OBSERVER AM this morning. The Chairman of the Antigua Hotels and Tourist Association, Alex DeBrito was also a guest on the programme.

He is particularly concerned about the ability of small hotels to afford the antibiotic treatments for their palm trees.

In 2012, lab tests confirmed the presence of lethal yellowing in Antigua.

Since then the disease has decimated the palm tree population across the country.

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