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IDFA, NMPF Express Concerns about Drug-Residue Testing

Dec 20, 2010

IDFA and the National Milk Producers Federation last week expressed concerns in a letter to the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine regarding plans to test milk samples for animal drug residues. The agency is trying to determine if there is a correlation between illegal drug residues found in tissue samples of meat from culled dairy cows and the milk supply from these farms. Although FDA initially wanted to test milk samples that were being received at processing plants, IDFA and NMPF asserted that taking milk samples directly from the farmer's bulk milk tank is the safest and most economical testing method.

FDA has commissioned CVM to test milk samples from 900 farmers who have been previously identified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety Inspection Service's "Residue Violator Alert List" and "Same Source Supplier - Residue Violator List" as having had illegal drug residues in meat samples taken from culled dairy cows. The proposed testing plan covers 26 different drug residues, many of which are not currently covered under the Grade "A" Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO).

"IDFA and NMPF are committed to eliminating violative residues in the milk supply and in any dairy product processed from that supply," the joint letter stated. "CVM taking samples from the farmer's bulk tank and with the milk from that bulk tank subsequently being dumped is the safest way to move forward with this testing assignment, and both organizations will work with CVM to that end."

IDFA and NMPF stressed that dumping milk at the farm would minimize potential losses that could come from comingling milk, disrupting milk processing, holding finished dairy products or recalling products as a result of positive residue findings. IDFA will continue to work with CVM to minimize the plan's impact on member companies.

Read the letter here.

For more details, contact Jon Gardner IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs, at


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