FDA sends warning letters to two farms concerning drug residues

Related tags Cattle Food and drug administration Fda

FDA sends two warning letters
FDA sends two warning letters
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued two warning letters on the subject of illegal drug residue in the space of a week.

The first letter, dated 7 March was sent to Machado Dairy Farms Dairy #2 alleging that drugs were used in a different manner than that directed by their prescription label or approved labelling.

The second letter, dated 12 March was sent to Oak Grove Farm relating to the selling of an animal for sale which was adulterated under certain sections of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

An investigation of the cattle grower operation located in Lambsburg, Virginia, conducted by a representative of the FDA on 22 January confirmed that an animal was offered for sale for slaughter as food that was adulterated under certain sections of the act.

In the letter sent to Mike Edwards, Owner of Oak Grove Farm, Lambsburg, Virginia​, the FDA said that a feeder heifer was sold on or about 3 November 2012 which was identified for slaughter as food and around 8 November, the animal was slaughtered.

Adulterated animal

US Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) analysis of tissue samples collected from the animal identified the presence of 44.69ppm of Oxytetracycline within the kidney tissue.

A tolerance of 12ppm has been established for residues of Oxytetracycline in the edible tissues of beef cattle.

The presence of this drug in edible tissue from this animal causes the food to be adulterated under the legislation, said the FDA.

“Our investigation also found that you hold animals under conditions that are so inadequate that medicated animals bearing potentially harmful drug residues are likely to enter the food supply​,” wrote the agency in the letter.

You lack an adequate system to ensure that animals medicated by you have been withheld from slaughter for appropriate periods of time to permit depletion of potentially hazardous residues of drugs from edible tissues​.”

The FDA said the firm failed to maintain complete treatment records, to segregate treated animals; and to observe withdrawal times and directions on drug label.

Failure to take action to correct the violations may result in regulatory action without further notice such as seizure and/or injunction, warned the agency.

Extralabel use

In the letter to Machado Dairy Farms Dairy #2​ the FDA found substances were administered to dairy cows in breach of legislation.

On 9, 11 and 14 January the FDA conducted an investigation of Machado Dairy Farms, East Mariposa Road, Stockton, California.

The letter did not reveal the substances but said they were used not as directed by their prescription label or approved labelling.  

As a producer of animals offered for use as food, you are responsible for ensuring that your overall operation and the food you distribute is in compliance with the law.

Related topics Food safety & quality

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