by Robert Cohen - firstname.lastname@example.org
This past week, 34,000 quarts of drug-laced milk were
shipped to Michigan stores.
The angriest denials that I've heard from dairymen, and
most spirited debates that I've been participated in with dairy industry
representatives, center around whether or not milk and dairy products
contain antibiotic residues.
Dairy farmers argue that the presence of antibiotics or
antimicrobials is not possible because every truckload of milk is tested
by the truck driver as it leaves the farm. Milk is then tested again by
the processor. Safeguards make it impossible for drug-laced milk to
reach the market, farmers reason.
Unfortunately for dairymen, they are wrong. Milk does
contain antibiotics. Concentrated dairy products like ice cream and
butter can also contain concentrated amounts of antibiotics.
Bacteria develop immunities to wonder drugs. The medical
community wonders why new strains of bacteria have developed. Wonder
drugs no longer work. Americans consume antibiotics with immune
bacteria, and the mystery is solved.
On August 31, 2001, there was a recall of milk in
Here is the Detroit News article:
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LONDON'S FARM DAIRY STARTS VOLUNTARY MILK RECALL
PORT HURON -- London's Farm Dairy has issued a voluntary
recall of milk because it was contaminated with antibiotics, the
Michigan Department of Agriculture said.
Susan Esser, manager of the state dairy program in
Lansing, said up to 8,500 gallons of milk were sent to stores on
Tuesday. She said it's not clear what the possible risks might be.
John Stout, quality control manager at the dairy, said
the milk was sent to various stores throughout eastern Michigan. He
would not specify which stores received the milk.
Stout said the company still was investigating to see if
the contamination was actually antibiotics, but Esser said the test had
been positive. Stout said:
"There is no safety or health risk. This is just an
issue related to
making sure we don't have a regulatory problem related to the
parameters of the product. This is not a food safety issue."
Stout said the company learned of the contaminated milk
on Wednesday morning and began calling customers to take the milk off
He said he believed all stores had been called by
Thursday afternoon. Stout said the dairy, which is owned by Grand
Rapids-based Country Fresh Inc., still is investigating which products
are affected. The dairy produces under the brands London Farm Dairy,
Country Fresh and Borden. It was not clear which or how many products
Calls for comment to Country Fresh were not returned.
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ANTIBIOTICS IN MILK
After genetically engineering the bovine growth hormone,
Monsanto learned that cows were getting mastitis, painful ulcers on
their udders which resulted in an increase in pus, blood and bacteria in
Monsanto arranged to have their top scientist, Margaret
Miller, hired by FDA where she reviewed her own research. Aware that
dairymen would have to treat cows with more antibiotics, Miller simply
raised the allowable levels of antimicrobials farmers could put in milk.
Miller arbitrarily increased the allowable level by one hundred times --
from one part per hundred million to one part per million!
Michael Hansen of Consumers Reports testified and
brought attention to Congressional committees that 52 drugs are known to
be used as antibiotics to treat mastitis. According to Consumer's Union,
FDA had approved only 30 of those antibiotics.
Milk is routinely tested for the presence of six
different antibiotics. Farmers are aware of the antibiotics being
tested. Do you imagine they might be tempted to use any of the other 46
not currently being tested?
Go on to Excerpts from
Return to 5 September 2001 Issue
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