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Washington Dairy Had Drug Residues Under Control?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says a Washington state dairy farm gave a false guaranty to a buyer that all animals it was providing for sale or processing were handled in a manner to prevent buildups of drug residues.

Federal law prohibits providing a false guaranty.

After providing the signed guaranty, Azevedo and Sons Dairy Inc., located near Othello, WA, sold cows for slaughter. Tissue samples were taken by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and tested for animal drug residues.

FSIS found the presence of 0.801 parts per million (ppm) of flunixin in the liver tissue in one cow, and the presence of 0.755 ppm of sulfadimethoxine in the liver tissue of another.

FDA’s tolerance levels are 0.125 ppm for flunixin and 0.1 ppm for sulfadimethoxine.

Flunixin is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug and sulfadimethoxine is antibacterial. FDA limits residues from these animal drugs to protect human food.

FDA inspected the Evergreen State dairy farm in Jan. 5 and 13, and in a March 4 warning letter informed the owners that violations were found. It said the animals the dairy sold for slaughter were adulterated in that they were held under insanitary conditions.

“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 says.  “For example, you failed to maintain complete treatment records.  Food from animals held under such conditions is adulterated within the meaning of (the law).”

The brand names of the drugs the dairy was allegedly misusing were Banamine NADA #101-479 (flunixin meglumine) and Albon NADA #031-715 (sulfadimethoxine).  FDA said the drugs were not used in accordance with their approved labeling. 

Specifically, it said the dairy administered the animal drugs without regard to the dose, route of administration or withdrawal period outlined on the label.

FDA’s Seattle district office gave the Othello dairy 15 working days to respond in writing with specific steps it is taking to get into compliance with the law.

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