July 16, 2018

Meech Dairy Farm Ordered to Stop Distributing Adulterated Meat

The Meech Dairy Farm in Sebeka, Minnesota, has been ordered to stop distributing meat in interstate commerce by the U.S. District Court District of Minnesota. A consent decree of permanent injunction was entered against the farm and its co-owners Todd Meech and Patty Meech on Monday, July 9, 2018.

Meech Dairy Farm Consent Decree

A complaint was filed by the Department of Justice alleging violations of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The defendants will be required to “establish and implement a quarantine or segregation system that ensures ready distinction between medicated and unmediated animals and that prevents defendants from selling or delivering for food slaughter any animals with illegal new animal drug residues in their edible tissues,” before they can resume introducing “animals and their edible tissues” into interstate commerce.

A complaint was filed on February 23, 2018 at the request of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The complaint states that the Meech Dairy Farm has about 500 cattle, including 400 dairy cows, and sells cows for slaughter. The complaint alleges that the defendants failed to abide by laws that protect consumers from eating food that contains new animal drugs above legal limits.

Allegedly, lab testing by the USDA found above-tolerance drug residue in the liver of one of the Meech Dairy Farm cows sold for slaughter. The compliant states that an FDA inspection “confirmed that the defendants did not record information regarding administered dosage, administration route, withdrawal time for meat, or the usable date for meat. ”

According to the FDA, high levels of drugs in animal’s edible tissues is a public health risk. Consumers of meat who are susceptible to antibiotics, for instance, can have severe allergic reactions if they eat food containing levels of these drugs above established tolerances.

United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald for the District of Minnesota said in a statement, “Poor recordkeeping practices and improper administration of drugs to food-producing animals poses a serious risk to consumers. The United States Attorney’s Office, along with the FDA, will continue to take action on these types of cases to ensure that Minnesota farmers are following the law and maintaining high food safety standards.”

 

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