Food Safety

Current News and Highlights for Food Safety

USDA Survey of Pesticide Residues Finds No Problems in Milk

 

The most recent national government survey looking for pesticide residues in foods found virtually no positive levels in milk, and none that exceeded government tolerance levels.

The USDA conducts an annual Pesticide Data Program annual survey to test various food commodities for pesticide residues. Each year, USDA and the Environmental Protection Agency jointly determine which commodities to test. In 2011, the USDA collected 743 whole milk samples in ten of the largest states, mostly at the retail level.

Overall, only five of the milk samples showed any presence of pesticide residue, and all were lower than EPA-established tolerances for those compounds.

Annual Survey of Antibiotic Residues in Milk Finds Continuing Improvement

 

Dairy farmers continued in 2012 to improve their already stellar track record of keeping antibiotic residues out of the milk supply, with the most recent national survey finding that only 0.017% of all bulk milk tankers, or 1 in 6,000 loads, showed any sign of an animal antibiotic drug residue. On-farm vigilance in following drug withdrawal times has led to a steady decline in antibiotic residue, falling from an already low level of 0.061% in 2002, a decline of nearly 75% in the last decade.

These figures are based on information reported to the FDA’s National Milk Drug Residue Data Base by state regulatory agencies under the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments. Data are reported on the extent of the national testing activities, the analytical methods used, the kind and extent of the animal drug residues identified, and the amount of contaminated milk that was removed from the human food supply.

All milk loads are tested for antibiotics, and any tanker which tests positive for a drug residue is rejected before entering a dairy plant and does not enter the market for human consumption.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resource Center for the Dairy Industry on Food Safety

NMPF Resources