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Dairy Industry Statement on Supplemental Antibiotic Residue Testing

January 26, 2011

ARLINGTON, VA – The dairy industry is committed to providing safe and wholesome milk to consumers. The nation’s 55,000 dairy farmers have a strong track record of compliance with state and federal regulations, and support education and enforcement efforts to further strengthen that record.

It’s important to clarify that the dairy industry is cooperating with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). We are pleased that the agency recently agreed to take additional time to collect input and review the proposed scope and methodology of the testing plan.

FDA has repeatedly expressed its confidence in the safety of the U.S. milk supply, stating, “Efforts such as this sampling assignment will ensure that any problem that may exist remains minor and is quickly mitigated by education and enforcement, as appropriate. FDA is targeting the few members (tissue residue violators) of an otherwise compliant industry in order to ensure that the public can have the utmost confidence in the dairy products they consume.”

The U.S. milk industry has an exemplary record concerning management of antibiotics. Under a comprehensive program administered by the state regulatory authorities and overseen by FDA, the U.S. dairy industry conducts nearly 4 million tests each year to ensure that antibiotics are kept out of the milk supply. For example in 2009, only .028% tested positive, and in those very rare cases, the milk is not sold to the public.

The National Milk Producers Federation, based in Arlington, VA, develops and carries out policies that advance the well being of dairy producers and the cooperatives they own. The members of NMPF’s 31 cooperatives produce the majority of the U.S. milk supply, making NMPF the voice of more than 40,000 dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies.

Visit our Animal Drug Information webpage for additional FDA resources concerning this issue.