The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that the number of antibiotic-positive milk tankers was just 0.026% for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2009. That's a decrease of 7% from the previous year.
"Stronger on-farm animal care programs and intense testing at the dairy plant are continuing to show impressive decreases in the FDA-sponsored National Milk Drug Residue Database testing results for medicinal animal drug residues,” says Allen Sayler, vice president of regulatory affairs, International Dairy Foods Association.
"The program of testing every truckload of raw milk and disposing of those testing positive is very successful in maintaining confidence in dairy products and in the dairy industry,” he says.
More than 3.9 million raw milk samples were tested. In addition, more than 45,000 samples of finished dairy products were tested, and none of these were positive.
The amount of milk that had to be disposed of because of these "hot” loads decreased 13% from 2008 and 58% from 2007.
The data was also sorted between Grade A bulk milk tankers and non-Grade A tankers. The Grade A tankers were positive 0.025% of the time and the non-Grade A tankers were positive 0.037% of the time. Approximately 95% of the U.S. milk supply is Grade A milk.
Beta-lactam drugs were the primary drugs of interest, accounting for 98% of all tests conducted. But FDA also increased its scrutiny of the enrofloxacin and sulfonamide drug families and is currently assessing whether more classes of drugs should be added to the testing regime.