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Residue Gets in Human Food from Animal Drug Misuse

The Pastime Lakes Dairy located near Lakeview, CA apparently did not get the memo.  

Here’s the information Pastime missed:

“Cattle must not be slaughtered for human consumption within 4 days of the last treatment. Milk that has been taken during treatment and for 36 hours after the last treatment must not be used for food. Not for use in dry dairy cows. A withdrawal period has not been established for this product in preruminating calves. Do not use in calves to be processed for veal. Not for use in horses intended for food.”

That’s the “residue warning”  on the label for flunixin meglumine, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory animal drug.

Tissue samples of a cow sold by Pastime for slaughter as food  to American Beef Packers Inc. were tested by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and found to contain flunixin residue at higher than allowed tolerance levels.

According to a Nov. 8 warning letter sent to Pastime by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA),  the USDA tests found 0.162 parts per million (PPM) of flunixin  in the liver tissue.  FDA’s tolerance level for flunixin  in the edible tissues of an animal is 0.125 PPM.

“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,” the warning letter said.

In an inspection conducted last September, FDA found Pastime Dairy was not following label instructions for both flunixin meglumine and tetracycline hydrochoride, an anti-infective agent.

“Our investigation found that you administered flunixin meglumine to a dairy cow without following the dose as stated in your veterinarian’s prescribed labeling,” FDA added.  “Our investigation also found that you administered tetracycline hydrochloride via the uterus of cows without following the route of administration as stated in the approved labeling.”

Pastime is a dairy cattle and milk production company founded in 1963.

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