Survey shows hardly any antibiotic residues in milk supply

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Dairy farmers continued in 2012 to improve their already stellar track record of keeping antibiotic residues out of the milk supply, with the most recent national survey finding that only 0.017 percent of all bulk milk tankers, or 1 in 6,000 loads, showed any sign of an animal antibiotic drug residue.

On-farm vigilance in following drug withdrawal times has led to a steady decline in antibiotic residue, falling from an already low level of 0.061 percent in 2002, a decline of nearly 75 percent in the last decade.

These figures are based on information reported to the Food and Drug Administration’s National Milk Drug Residue Data Base by state regulatory agencies under the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments. Data are reported on the extent of the national testing activities, the analytical methods used, the kind and extent of the animal drug residues identified, and the amount of contaminated milk that was removed from the human food supply.

All milk loads are tested for antibiotics, and any tanker which tests positive for a drug residue is rejected before entering a dairy plant and does not enter the market for human consumption. 

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Michigan  |  March, 11, 2013 at 08:20 AM

The good news is that the article says any loads with antibiotics were rejected. The bad news is that there was antibiotics. Toyota beat American car makers because their policy was zero defects. To keep our consumers happy we need to write/read an article that no antibiotics were found. Until then we should not use the term, " their already stellar track record of keeping antibiotic residues out of the milk supply".

wi  |  March, 13, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Have you forgotten about all the Toyotas recalled for brake failure a few years ago?

NY  |  March, 11, 2013 at 02:18 PM

Unfortunately, social media contains many allegations by organic dairy firms that conventional milk is "full of antibiotics."

Oregon  |  March, 16, 2013 at 09:03 AM

As someone who has worked with dairies requesting information on converting to "organic", and assisting them to convert to "organic". The biggest concern that doesn't get addressed is the herd health and proper use of drugs. There is always that want to return an animal to the milking herd early. Just like you wish to return to work early from being sick to working while your sick. Every day lost for animal or human is lost income. At what point is low enough for drug OR pesticide contents in our food supply. For the cost of "organic" feed, medicine, living conditions, fertilizer, the return to the farmers is minimal with increased labor and fuel costs. For those who are asking why I put "organic" into quotes, there are no nationwide standards or monitoring practices. Each state sets a standard and monitoring practice. If a crop is grown outside of its recognized growth zone is used to double forage production or is used for fresh produce. A farm supplying year round fresh produced, grown on the same land and is organic. Hybrid comes to mind. You may OR may not be able to be certified. Ideally the feed mill must do a complete clean out to switch between standard and "organic" feed regardless of the same types of grains being used.


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