U.S. FDA’s survey of Milk finds some dairy Farmers breaking the Law on Antibiotics

Illegal Antibiotics Could Be in Your Milk, FDA Finds

cows-get-milked image
A small percentage of farmers are giving dairy cows antibiotic drugs that aren’t intended for them. Anders Porter image.

A new report from the Food and Drug Administration reveals that a few farmers are using antibiotics that the routine tests don’t try to detect, because the drugs aren’t supposed to be used on dairy cows at all.

The FDA looked for 31 different drugs in samples of milk from almost 2,000 dairy farms. About half of the farms — the “targeted” group — had come under suspicion for sending cows to slaughter that turned out to have drug residues in their meat. The other farms were a random sample of all milk producers.

Just over 1 percent of the samples from the “targeted” group, and 0.4 percent of the randomly collected samples, contained drug residues. An antibiotic called Florfenicol was the most common drug detected, but 5 other drugs also turned up. Perhaps most disturbing: none of the drugs that the FDA detected are approved for use in lactating dairy cows. ”

Sources and more information

  • FDA Tests Turn Up Dairy Farmers Breaking The Law On Antibiotics,
    npr, MARCH 08, 2015.
  • FDA’s Survey of Milk Finds Few Drug Residues, fda, March 5, 2015.
  • Questions and Answers: 2012 Milk Drug Residue Sampling Survey, fda, 03/05/2015.

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