Much higher than allowable levels of the antibiotic sulfadimethoxine have been found in a culled dairy cow sold for slaughter by P&D Dairy in Chino, CA.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a “Warning Letter” to P&D partners Peter Bouma and Sam Dekruyf on Feb. 9 that was made public Tuesday.

FDA Los Angeles District Director Alonza E. Cruse told the partners that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety & Inspection Service (FSIS) tested the culled dairy cow they sold last May 4 for sulfadimethoxine.   The agency found 1.177 parts per million (PPM) of sulfadimethoxine residue in the liver.  FDA maximum tolerance is 0.1 PPM in edible tissue of cattle.

The sulfa or “sulfonamide” class of antibiotics has been around since the 1930s.  They are commonly used in animal agriculture such as poultry.  Their use in lactating cows, however, is prohibited.

P&D Dairy was also warned about its use of the new animal drug penicillin G procaine in an injectable suspension form.  “Specifically, our investigation revealed that you did not use penicillin G procaine as directed by its approved labeling,” Cruse wrote.

The privately owned dairy employs 30 people at a location immediately east of the Chino airport.  FDA asked the diary to respond to the issues raised in the letter within 15 working days.

FDA said its investigation found the Chino diary holds “animals under conditions that are so inadequate that medicated animals bearing potentially harmful drug residues are likely to enter the food supply.”  It said food from animals kept in such conditions is considered adulterated.

P&D also provided a signed bill of sale or consignment, certifying that none of the cattle it was providing had illegal levels of drug residue.  Providing such false guaranty is a violation of federal law.