Animal & Veterinary
Consent Decree Filed in Tissue Residue Case at Alvin Souza Dairy
May 2, 2005
On April 13, 2005, a Consent Decree of Permanent Injunction was filed against Alvin L. Souza, an individual doing business as Alvin Souza Dairy, Tulare, CA. This action is based on the numerous illegal drug residues caused by the firm, and Mr. Souza’s failure to maintain controls to prevent illegal residues in animals delivered for slaughter.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA/FSIS) found 13 illegal tissue residues in edible tissues of seven animals from the dairy sampled between December 4, 1997 and January 28, 2004. The drug residues found by USDA/FSIS included antibiotics such as penicillin, gentamicin, neomycin, and sulfadimethoxine that were found to be above the permitted tolerance levels or in some cases where no established tolerance for the new animal drug has been established. FDA is concerned about the sale of animals for slaughter for human food that may contain illegal levels of animal drugs because of their potential for adverse effects on human health. New animal drugs are approved by FDA with strict use requirements, including a specified time period to withdraw an animal from treatment prior to marketing, to assure the drug has depleted from edible tissue to a level that will not present harm to the consuming public.
Under the terms of the Consent Decree that was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, the defendants must implement residue avoidance systems including segregation/quarantine and identification of treated animals, maintaining medication/treatment records, drug inventory/accountability, and must follow label directions for use including drug withdrawal times prior to slaughter.
FDA's San Francisco District conducted the investigation that lead to this Consent Decree. FDA/CVM Division of Compliance and the FDA’s Office of the Chief Counsel, and the United States Department of Justice's Office of Consumer Litigation, and the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of California were responsible for processing and filing the case.