July 19, 2018

Consent Decree Issued Against Vermont Dairy Farm

The FDA has announced that the District Court for Vermont has entered a consent decree of permanent injunction against Lawson Farm of Irasburg, Vermont for selling cows and bull calves for human food that contain illegal drug residues. The decree prevents the farm and its owners from purchasing or selling animals for use as food unless and until they take action to assure that animals with illegal drug residues do not enter teh food supply.

Cows in FieldThe defendants must also maintain written records to identify which animals have been medicated and maintain a drug inventory. The FDA has sent warning letters to the farm for similar violations. The letter states that dairy cows had high levels of penicillin in the edible tissues of cattle. The farm also “held animals under conditions that are so inadequate that medicated animals bearing potentially harmful drug residues are likely to enter the food supply.” ┬áRecurring violations of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act were documented at several inspections.

Melinda K. Plaisier, the FDA’s acting associate commissioner for regulatory affairs said in a statement, “The FDA continues to take strong enforcement actions against companies that put consumers’ health at risk. The actions we took are necessary to ensure that foods do not contain illegal residues of drugs and are safe for consumers”

Food that has excessive levels of antibiotics and other drugs can cause adverse reactions in the general population, even when the levels are very low. Some people who are sensitive or allergic to antibiotics such as penicillin can have severe reactions if they eat meat contaminated with these drugs.

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