The Graham Farm in Moore Haven, FL has a problem with the animal drug sulfamethazine.
Sulfamethazine is an antibacterial drug consisting of any of several synthetic compounds capable of inhibiting growth of bacteria. It is used in both cattle and pigs.
The tolerance level is 0.1 parts per million (PPM) for residues of sulfamethazine in the uncooked edible tissues of cattle. A calf sold by Graham Farm had 126.95 PPM of sulfamethazine in the liver tissue.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspected the Graham dairy farm on April 29 and May 1, 2009. It found that a calf tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety & inspection Service (FSIS) had a high level of the drug in the animal’s edible tissue but was sold by the dairy on Dec. 6, 2008.
In a recently released Nov. 16 “Warning Letter” to The Graham Farm, FDA said the high drug levels mean the dairy is selling “adulterated” food under the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic 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,” FDA Florida District Director Emma R. Singleton wrote.
The Graham Farm was rapped for poor record keeping and using the drug in a manner not consistent with instructions on the label, which FDA refers to as “extralabel” use.
High concentrations of the drug being found in the edible tissues likely resulted from not stopping dosages at least two weeks prior to slaughter, experts say.
The Graham Farm at Moore Haven is apparently not related to properties owned in the Miami Lakes area that were developed by the family of former Florida Gov. Bob Graham.
The Moore Haven dairy was asked to respond to the FDA within 15 working days with information of how it plans to come into compliance with the applicable laws and regulations.