The Minnesota Milk Producers Association (MMPA) reports that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will begin "non-regulatory milk double-blinded sampling survey" of milk samples of herds that have a history of antibiotic residues in meat.
According to MMPA, FDA investigators will visit participating milk labs and collect milk samples from these herds as well as an equal number of samples from random dairy farms. No farm identifying information will be attached to the samples.
Apparently, the sampling is being done to see if dairy farms are using drugs other than beta lactams to avoid detection. All milk is tested for beta lactams prior to acceptance at milk plants. But the residues found in meat suggest some dairy producers, albeit a small minority, are using other antibiotics. These drugs often times might not have a withholding period established for meat or milk.
The initial sampling survey conducted by FDA is to establish whether widespread problems exist, and whether more testing needs to be required.
Some dairy co-ops have already begun randomly testing for non-beta lactam drugs. And they have put their patrons on notice that they are doing so.