The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to know what the public thinks of its risk assessment of drug residues in milk. The risk assessment, entitled, “Multicriteria-Based Ranking Model for Risk Management of Animal Drug Residues in Milk and Milk Products,” is a tool to assist with reevaluating which animal drug residues should be included in milk testing programs. milkinlab_406x250The agency undertook the project in response to a request from the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments (NCIMS). After a cow is treated with a drug, milk from the animal is discarded for a certain amount of time to assure that any residues are below established tolerance levels and that the milk is safe for human consumption. If illegal drug residues are present, milk from a cow being treated with a drug can’t legally be sold. FDA has considered a range of data and information, including surveys conducted by the government, previously published literature, and input from external peer review. The model reviewed four overarching criteria that collectively contribute to a drug’s ranking:

  • The likelihood that the drug will be administered to lactating dairy cows;
  • The likelihood that, following administration, drug residues would be present in bulk milk;
  • The relative extent to which consumers could be exposed to the drug residue by drinking or eating milk and milk products, and
  • The potential for a human health hazard given exposure to the drug residue.

FDA is accepting public comments on the risk assessment for 90 days beginning on April 30.