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Feed Company Violated BSE Controls

A provider of animal feed to nine states is violating federal regulations that prohibit animal proteins in ruminant feed to control the spread of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The prohibitions were put in place to prevent BSE, or Mad Cow Disease.

The animal feed manufacturer involved is Rangen Inc., which provides animal feed for dairy and beef cattle, sheep, swine, poultry, pets, and horses from Buhl, Idaho.  The privately held, family-owned business distributes feed products to Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, Washington, California, and Oregon.

“Our investigation determined that adulteration resulted from the failure of your firm to provide for measures to avoid commingling or cross-contamination,” FDA’s Seattle District Director Charles M. Breen said in a Feb. 11 “Warning Letter” to the Idaho feed manufacturer that was made public Tuesday.

“The adulterated feed was subsequently misbranded because it was not properly labeled,” Breen continued.

The FDA letter said Rangen failed to use cleanout procedures to prevent carry-over of products “that contain or may contain proteins derived from mammalian tissues into animal feed that may be used as ruminants.

Mink feed was not labeled “Do Not feed to cattle or other ruminants.”  Auger trucks are not being cleaned effectively.  Bulk mink feed is misbranded.  Equipment containing mammalian tissues was used.

FDA says Rangen promised in a July 31 letter to “no longer purchase meat and bone meal for use in any of its animal feeds and existing inventories of mammalian protein ingredients would be exhausted by Dec. 31, 2009.”

The 85-year old Rangen Inc. also is a bean and wheat dealer and runs a 940-carrier transportation unit across the lower 48 states.  It offers refers, dry vans, flats, container trailers, and dry bulk trailers.

Breen also sent a “Warning Letter” to Crestview Calves Inc. in Hazelton, Idaho, over a calf sold on Aug. 14, 2009 that was found by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service to have unacceptable levels of gentamicin sulfate.

FDA has a zero tolerance level for gentamicin sulfate. Its investigation found Crestview is not using the new animal drug as directed by the veterinarian’s prescription.

Across the country, in South Solon, Ohio, the Stardust Dairy received a similar letter.  The only difference was the cow it sold on April 20, 2009 was found by FSIS to have a higher than tolerated level of the animal drug flunixin.

Flunixin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug more properly used to treat horses.

Companies have 15 working days to respond to a “Warning Letter.”

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