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FSIS National Residue Program for Cattle


Executive Summary
One of the public food safety issues facing the United States is the contamination of meat with residual veterinary drugs, pesticides, and heavy metals. “Residue” of this sort finds its way into the food supply when producers bring animals to slaughter plants while they have these residual contaminants in their system. When the animals are slaughtered, traces of the drugs or pesticides contained in these animals’ meat is shipped to meat processors and retail supermarkets, and eventually purchased by consumers. In order to safeguard the Nation’s food supply from harmful residue, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) administers the national residue program. FSIS inspectors sample meat processed through slaughter plants for residue testing and compare the results with tolerances established by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to prevent adulterated meat from entering into commerce.... (Sounds good)

Based on our review, we found that the national residue program is not accomplishing its mission of monitoring the food supply for harmful residues. Together, FSIS, FDA, and EPA have not established thresholds for many dangerous substances (e.g., copper or dioxin3), which has resulted in meat with these substances being distributed in commerce. Additionally, FSIS does not attempt to recall meat, even when its tests have confirmed the excessive presence of veterinary drugs. (ruht-rohh)

(Meanwhile ...)

We found, however, that tolerances have not been set for many potentially harmful substances, which can impair FSIS’ enforcement activities. For example, in 2008, when Mexican authorities rejected a shipment of U.S. beef because it contained copper in excess of Mexico’s tolerances, FSIS had no basis to stop distribution of this meat in the United States since FDA has set no tolerance for copper. (pg2) *cough* Factor VIII *cough*

(Continues. Gets worse.)


Entry #424


time*treatComment by time*treat - June 3, 2010, 12:56 pm

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