With 75,000 head, Millenkamp Cattle located northwest of Jerome, ID is not finishing out 2009 on a positive note.  Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigators early last September visited Millenkamp’s calf-raising operation and found evidence of animal drug abuse.

In a recently released Dec. 14th “Warning Letter” to owner William J. Millenkamp, FDA presented evidence from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service that showed analysis of the kidney tissue of a calf Millenkamp Cattle had sold and shipped.  The presence of 0.28 parts per million (ppm) of penicillin residue was found.

The tolerance level is 0.05 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,” wrote FDA’s Seattle District Director Charles M. Breen.

Food is deemed adulterated if it contains a new animal drug that is unsafe under the law.

Millenkamp Cattle is finishing 2009 in the rough. 

In late November Millenkamp Cattle lost a civil trial when it sued the Jerome Cheese Company, claiming a condensed cheese byproduct the company sold caused the deaths of hundreds of calves and stunted the weight gain of thousands of others.

A six-person jury in Idaho’s Magic Valley, however, did not buy it.  They found for the cheese company, which is a unit of Davisco Foods International.

While waiting for the dispute to go to trial, Millenkamp Cattle grew to its present size from an 8,000 head operation.

Losing the jury verdict also meant Millenkamp was ordered to pay all of the legal bills incurred by the defense of Jerome Cheese.

The cattleman now has 15 working days to respond to FDA about the violations alleged in its “Warning Letter.”  Like several other calf operations recently, Millenkamp is being accused of using a new animal drug without following “the indications, dosing instructions, and duration of treatment as stated in the drug’s approved labeling.”