A well-known Vermont dairy farm is in hot water with the FDA and U.S. Department of Justice. Yesterday three members of Correia Family Farms agreed to settle a case convicting them of violating the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act by selling meat for human consumption that contained drug residues. They had been given two warnings.
According to the warning letter FDA sent to the Correia family in March 2013 a heifer from their farm was sold for slaughter while under antibiotic treatment. A tissue sample of the slaughtered animal tested positive for more than 32 times the legal residue limit of desfuroylceftiofur at 12. 96 parts per million.
“When farms fail to implement and maintain appropriate controls for the administration of antibiotics and other drugs to food-producing animals, they jeopardize public health,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “The Department of Justice will continue to work with the FDA to try to make sure that consumers are getting safe food.”
Officials at the US district attorney’s office say the farmers agreed to settle the litigation which means they will be bound by a consent decree of permanent injunction subjecting them to heightened FDA oversight. One thing included in that oversight is a new record keeping system and set of operational protocols to ensure consumer safety.
“Vermonters want to know what is in the food they eat, and they deserve food that is free from harmful drugs. The United States Attorney’s Office will continue to vigorously protect those rights and to hold unscrupulous food producers accountable,” said United States Attorney Eric S. Miller. “I commend the Correias for their willingness to enter into a consent decree that will require them to do their part to protect the safety of our food supply.”