The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced results from its milk sampling survey of nearly 2,000 dairy farms regarding drug residues in milk.
The Milk Drug Residue Sampling Survey was announced in November 2010 to determine if dairy farms with a previous tissue residue violation had more drug residues in raw milk compared to other dairy farms. Under the sampling survey, raw milk samples were analyzed for 31 different drug residues including antibiotics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and an antihistamine. The samples were compared to a control group of samples from dairy farms that had not been previously identified as having a tissue residue violation.
Over 99% of the samples were free of these drug residues of concern. These results emphasize that the occurrence of drug residues in milk is very low, even among those dairy farms with previous tissue residue violations. The residues that were detected involved drugs not currently included in routine testing under the present milk safety program.
The FDA plans to work with state regulators to consider amending testing requirements to include collecting samples as necessary from milk tanks on farms when investigating illegal drug residues in tissues involving culled dairy cows. It is also working with milk regulatory partners to update the existing milk safety program to add testing for a wider diversity of drugs and education for dairy producers on best practices to avoid drug residues in tissues and milk.
For more information visit FDA.gov.