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Claims for drug-free milk not proven.

Washington, D.C.: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), cannot substantiate its claims that milk is drug-free, and safe to drink, another government agency has charged.

The General Accounting Office (GAO), the investigative arm of Congress, has accused the FDA of conducting too limited a survey to support its claims that retail milk isn't contaminated with unsafe levels of antibiotics administered to cattle.

The GAO characterized the surveys as statistically worthless, presenting "at best, snapshots in time" of a small number of milk samples tested for the presence of a small number of drug residues."

The GAO also criticized the FDA for not having the expertise to detect and confirm most of the drugs used on dairy farms. Three of the six laboratory tests in the FDA's testing arsenal are not sensitive enough to detect drug residues at levels of public health concern, the GAO complained.

Spokespeople for the FDA did not take issue with the GAO's conclusions but indicated a resolve to improve the agency's methods. Currently, the FDA relies on state agencies to monitor milk purity. The problem lies with reporting consistency on the part of state agencies and the dairy industry, the FDA said.

The principal complaint that critics of the nation's milk supply have is drug contamination from antibiotics and sulfa drugs.
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Title Annotation:drug contamination of milk supply from antibiotics and sulfa drugs administered to cattle
Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Date:Jan 1, 1991
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