Idaho Dairy Sued By FDA


The Times News reports this morning that the Food and Drug Administration is suing an Idaho dairy for selling milk cows for slaughter that had high chemical levels in their meat.

G&H Dairy, with operations in Buhl, Dayton and Wendell is accused of administering penicillin in excess of the labeled dosage and without a veterinarian's prescription. The dairy also allegedly failed to main complete treatment records.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture sent six written warning letters to the dairy regarding the alleged drug residues found in cow tissues. Ultimately, the FDA filed an injunction against the dairy in federal court last week, asking that a judge stop the dairy from selling its livestock as meat unless it comes into compliance with federal law.

In April, BW published an investigation into antibiotics and drugs used in Idaho's dairy industry, revealing 40 violations in 2010 traced to dairy cows that had been sent to slaughter. The Idaho incidents included eight separate drugs, including 11 violations of illegal limits of penicillin in the kidney. Eight were traced to flunixin, an anti-inflammatory analgesic, and six violations were traced to sulfadimethoxine, an antibiotic. There were four separate violations of the use of gentamicin (any trace of the drug is a violation).

More than 12.7 billion pounds of milk were pumped from half a million Idaho dairy cows in 2010. Idaho is the second-largest milk producing state in the western United States and ranks third in the nation. Idaho's dairy industry grew from $73 million in 1970 to $1.88 billion in 2010. Idaho's dairy industry employs more than 22,730 individuals. Allied industries employ an additional 13,470 workers.