US – Food safety measures are effective at keeping milk free from drug residues, even those on farms known to have a problem, a US milk sampling survey has found.
The US Food and Drug Administration last week announced that 99 per cent of samples from a national study were free of drug residues.
This included a “targeted” list of farms known to have previous tissue violations.
“Results show that the occurrence of drug residues in milk is very low, even in the targeted group,” said the FDA in a statement.
Of nearly 2000 analysed raw milk samples, all produced in 2012, 15 harboured drug residues.
Reacting to the result, the FDA pledged to maintain the “strongest possible” system to ensure safe milk.
“The FDA will work closely with state regulators to consider modifying testing to include collecting samples as necessary from milk tanks on farms when investigating illegal drug residues in tissues involving culled dairy cows,” added the FDA.
“The agency is also working with its milk regulatory partners to update the existing milk safety program, as necessary, to include testing for a greater diversity of drugs and to educate dairy producers on best practices to avoid drug residues in both tissues and milk.”
The FDA can expect the support of the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), whose senior vice president, Clay Hough, said: “We’re pleased that the results reaffirm that the milk supply is safe, and we will continue to work with FDA, state regulators and our dairy colleagues to make the industry’s strong safety system even better.”
National Milk Producer’s Federation (NMPF) veterinarian and dairy farmer Dr Karen Jordan said farmers, veterinarians and pharmaceutical companies must all cooperate on milk safety.
Dr Jordan said: “We all need to work together to make sure we have a safe food supply.”
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