The Department of Justice, USA, has filed a complaint for permanent injunction on behalf of the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) against Scenic View Dairy of Hamilton, Michigan, the company’s president as well as three managers – they are alleged to have sold dairy cows containing illegal drug residues – antibiotics – in edible tissues for human consumption.
The complaint also alleges that despite several warnings, the defendants sold dairy cows that had been treated with drugs contrary to the drugs’ FDA-approved labeling and without a valid veterinary prescription to authorize their use – the cows were sold for slaughter.
The complaint was filed on August 31st, 2010, in the US District Court for the Western District of Michigan.
The violations are alleged to have occurred from 2002 to 2010 at three of Scenic View Dairy’s farms, at Fennville, Freeport, and Gowen, Michichan. The complaint names company president D. Geerlings, Fennville farm manager Mark A. Lucas, Freeport farm manager Michael J. Van Dam, and Gowen farm manager Jeremy A. Portell.
The FDA informs that it had notified the defendants regarding its findings at least eight times. The USDA (Department of Agriculture) had sent over 11 letters about the illegal tissue residues. Despite these warnings, the complaint states that the defendants continued violating the law regardless.
Part of the complaint is based upon illegal neomycin, penicillin, and sulfadimethoxine – types of antibiotics – drug residues that the USDA detected in the edible tissue of dairy cows that said defendants had offered for sale for human consumption.
Selling animals for human consumption that have illegal levels of antibiotic drugs can increase the risk of the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria; people with drug allergies may also have reactions.
According to FDA regulations, animals for human consumption have to be off the drugs for a specified period before they are slaughtered.
Scenic View Dairy gets its cows mainly from New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Vermont and sells to slaughterhouses in other states, including Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Written by Christian Nordqvist