A New York State veal growing operation is violating the federal Food & Drug Act by improperly using a new animal drug, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) says in a “Warning Letter” to owner.

In a Sept. 8th letter released this week on FDA’s website, owner Henry J. Ferris was warned about using the anti-inflammatory drug flunixin in animals because “FDA has not established a tolerance for residues of flunixin in the edible tissues of veal calves.”

Flunixin is usually used on horses.

Last July 13th, the Ferris veal operation sold a veal calve for slaughter as food that was tested for flunixin by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and discovered the presence of 0.0765 parts per million (ppm) of flunixin in the liver tissue.

Any amount of flunixin in edible issue means the food is adulterated within the meaning of the Food & Drug Act.

“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,” writes FDA’s Acting New York District Director Camille D. Monde.  “You lack an adequate system to ensure that animals medicated by you have been withheld from slaughter for appropriate period of time to permit depletion of potentially hazardous residues of drugs from edible tissues.”

The operation at 340 Tubbs Hill Road in Candor, NY is not keeping proper records nor using the animal drug in a manner prescribed by the company’s veterinarian nor provided for on the label.

Ferris was given 15 days to respond to the letter.  The original inspections occurred last March 23 and 26. 

Last week USDA and the State of Vermont closed down a small organic veal slaughterhouse after undercover videotapes surfaced showing inhumane treatment of calves.