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High Drug Residues Found at California Meat and Dairy Operations

Violators receive FDA warning letters

Dairy and meat farms in California were among the most recent establishments to receive federal warning letters after unacceptable levels of drug residues were found in cattle that they sold for slaughter.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration visited each establishment to inspect operations there and looked at records to track animals that were slaughtered.

If an animal from a dairy farm was slaughtered for human consumption, FDA checked with the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to see whether tissue samples from a specific dairy cow were tested for drug residues.

When FSIS testing reveals residue levels higher than set limits, the operation receives a warning letter.

The most recent violators include:

Meat: Cunha Calf Ranch, CA

Inspection Dates: May 2, May 24, June 5 and June 10, 2012

Violation: Sold cows for slaughter as human food with 7 residue violations of neomycin (highest was 18.43 parts per million). The FDA’s tolerance of neomycin is 7.2 parts per million.

Dairy: Double Diamond Dairy, CA

Inspection Dates: May 4, May 5 2012

Violation: Sold cows for slaughter as human food with two residue violations of neomycin (7.21, 7.47 parts per million).

Meat: GTA Calf Ranch, CA

Inspection Date: June 8, 2012

Violation: Sold cows for slaughter as human food with two drug residue violations of neomycin (14.91 parts per million) and oxytetracycline (5.89 parts per million). The FDA’s tolerance of neomycin is 7.2 parts per million and oxytetracycline is 2 parts per million.

Dairy: Johann Dairy Farm, CA

Inspection Dates: March 30, April 5, May 2, May 7, May 29, June 4, June 30 and July 3, 2012

Violation: Sold cows for slaughter as human food with nine drug residue violations of gentamicin (detected), neomycin (56.14 parts per million), penicillin (.08 parts per million), and sulfamethazine (4.418 parts per million). The FDA’s tolerance of gentamicin is 0 parts per million, 7.2 parts per million for neomycin, .05 parts per million for penicillin and 0 for sulfamethazine.

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