Feds Sue Magic Valley Dairy over Drug Issues

2011-11-25T09:00:00Z 2011-11-25T09:03:35Z Feds Sue Magic Valley Dairy over Drug IssuesBy Ben Botkin bbotkin@magicvalley.com Twin Falls Times-News
November 25, 2011 9:00 am  • 

WENDELL • A Magic Valley dairy has allegedly sent cows to slaughterhouses with high chemical levels in their meat that don’t meet federal food safety standards, according to the federal Food and Drug Administration.

The FDA detailed its allegations against G&H Dairy in a complaint filed in federal court last week. The agency is seeking an injunction to stop the dairy from selling its livestock as meat unless it comes into compliance with the law.

The dairy milks about 4,500 cows at three locations in Wendell, Buhl and Dayton, a town in southeast Idaho. Its cows are sold for slaughter in interstate commerce when they can no longer produce milk. The cows go to slaughterhouses in California, Utah and an unspecified local slaughterhouse that sends commingled beef to customers in Oregon, according to the complaint.

G & H Dairy didn’t respond to a request for comment from the Times-News.

Details of the complaint allege the following:

• A January inspection by the FDA at the dairy’s Wendell location found that the operation administered penicillin in excess of the labeled dosage and without a veterinarian’s prescription. The dairy also failed to maintain complete treatment records and didn’t have an inventory system to track the amount of drugs used on the cows, the complaint said.

• The FDA spotted problems dating back to 2009. The agency completed an inspection in 2009 after lab tests found illegal drug residue of flunixin in the liver of a cow sent for slaughter from Wendell. In that case, too, the agency found incomplete treatment records and administration of the medication without a veterinarian’s prescription.

“As a producer of animals offered for use as food, you are responsible for ensuring that your overall operations and the food you distribute is in compliance with the law,” FDA District Director Charles M. Breen wrote to the dairy in a July 31, 2009, warning letter.

That letter followed at least six written warnings from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to the dairy about the drug residues found in cow tissues.

• Inspections in 2010 at the dairy’s Dayton location turned up similar issues with excess chemicals in cow tissue. The agency also found that in 2009, the dairy sent a cow to slaughter two days after giving it drugs that require a wait of four to five days between treatment and slaughter.

• The dairy administered at least four different drugs — sulfadimethoxine, flunixin, penicillin and ampicillin — to animals that exceeded approved dosages, making the food unsafe.

Ben Botkin may be reached at 735-3238.

Copyright 2015 Twin Falls Times-News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(4) Comments

  1. hellsurvivor
    Report Abuse
    hellsurvivor - November 26, 2011 11:01 am
    Earlier I asked a question or two. Then after I searched for answers, I found this horrendous video, Death by Medicine: >>
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=K7_e_4AOsFo < It implies, more ore less, that if we need any kind of medicine we can just go swimming in any body of water.
  2. hellsurvivor
    Report Abuse
    hellsurvivor - November 25, 2011 3:11 pm
    are these people contributing to HCD, human collapse diseases that can kill people very slowly?
  3. IDCARE
    Report Abuse
    IDCARE - November 25, 2011 1:16 pm
    I've got news for everyone reading this article. It's not just this individual dairy, this practice is industry wide in these dairy CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations). They pump these cows so full of fBGH (Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone) and rBST (Recombinant bovine somatotropin) that they end up with severe cases of mastitis—and in a lot of these mastitis cases it is antibiotic resistant bacteria to boot-- which require treatment by high-dose, high-powered antibiotics. Here's a link to a site which provides good explanations of rBGH and rBST:
    http://www.sustainabletable.org/issues/rbgh/
    When they can't get the cow healthy, they ship her off to a slaughterhouse where she ends up as hamburger. Depending on which reference source you are looking at, anywhere between 50% and 85% of our hamburger in this country is used up, burnt up dairy cows. They survive two lactation cycles 3-4 years (if they are lucky), whereas dairy cows (when treated humanely and not forced to become milk production machines) usually live into their late teens and occasionally into their twenties! Check out these FDA websites where they list producers that they have sent “adulteration” letters to (such as the ones sent to G&H):
    http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/warningletters/wlSearchResult.cfm?subject=Animals%20for%20Sale%20for%20Slaughter%20as%20Food%2FAdulterated
    http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/warningletters/wlSearchResult.cfm?subject=Animals%20for%20sale%20for%20slaughter%2FAdulterated
    http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/warningletters/wlSearchResult.cfm?subject=Animal%20Sale%20for%20Slaughter%20as%20Food%2FAdulterated
    Notice that the producer NEVER follows up with FDA, and FDA RARELY follows up with the producer! Also pay VERY CLOSE attention to the dates these letters were sent out—in most cases they were sent out MONTHS AFTER the cow was sent to slaughter. Don’t think for a New York minute that this meat didn’t enter the food supply chain!
    George Prentiss with Boise Weekly wrote a fantastic article about the drugs found in Idaho dairy cows:
    http://www.boiseweekly.com/boise/got-milk-got-drugs-got-both-state-responds-after-idaho-dairy-cattle-test-positive-in-federal-good-safety-tests/Content?oid=2174048
    Our Idaho State Department of Agriculture actually performed testing of milk (back in January, 2011) and--at least according to Brian Oakey with ISDA-- didn’t even keep copies of the results of these tests! These tests were conducted at ISDA’s lab (paid for by Idaho taxpayers) and there isn’t even a paper trail to document what they showed! Now, do you think for one second that if the milk had come back “clean” that they wouldn’t have taken out billboards to show how “pure” the milk from these CAFOs is?
    This is just the tip of the iceberg folks. Do your own research—for your health and the well-being of your children and grandchildren!



  4. Native
    Report Abuse
    Native - November 25, 2011 6:37 am
    Sometimes we forget that some don't care if they sell us poison as long as they get paid for it.
    I shudder to think if it were not for the USDA, how many Americans would die. But deaths don't concern those who see a bigger danger in Government interference in commerce.

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