CBS13 in Sacramento, Calif., aired a piece Monday questioning whether some antibiotics are showing up in milk despite testing efforts.
A three-month investigation by the station “has learned 17 different types of antibiotics have been found in the meat of dairy cows, though dairy milk is only screened for six antibiotics. The findings show some farm medicines could be flying under the radar and onto the dinner table, since most of that milk is not tested for those additional antibiotics,” according to the report found here.
The antibiotic issue surfaces from time to time, prompted by reports that the government is stepping up enforcement efforts. Earlier this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration began a sampling survey to see if there is a correlation between drug residues that may be showing up in the carcasses of cull cows and those that may be showing up in milk. Read more.
The sampling survey by FDA is merely precautionary and meant to ensure that proper veterinary treatment guidelines are being met, according to Chris Galen, senior vice president of communications at the National Milk Producers Federation.
“Efforts such as this will ensure that potential problems, if they exist, remain minor and are quickly mitigated by education and enforcement, as appropriate,” Galen says. “There is no evidence that the public health has been, or is, at risk."
And the National Milk Producers Federation has been engaged in an industry-wide education campaign to remind farmers to follow proper label guidelines for the use of pharmaceutical products. NMPF recently updated its Milk and Dairy Beef Drug Residue Prevention Manual, a resource available to dairy farmers to ensure appropriate antibiotic use.
“Maintaining the safety of the U.S. milk supply has been, and remains, the dairy industry’s highest priority,” Galen says. “All dairy farmers have a responsibility to ensure they are taking appropriate steps to preserve the health of their herds, and the milk supply.”