Animal & Veterinary
Consent Decree Signed in Tissue Residue Case Against California Dairies
August 29, 2001
On July 30, 2001, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California accepted and entered a Consent Decree of Permanent Injunction between the United States, and Joe Sozinho Sr., Danny Sozinho, and Dimas M. Sozinho. These individuals were doing business as Joe Sozinho Dairy #1 and Joe Sozinho Dairy #2 in Hanford, California. The Dairy #1 milks approximately 650 dairy cows daily, which yields approximately 5,500 gallons of fluid milk per day. The Dairy #2 milks approximately 450 dairy cows daily, which yields approximately 2,800 gallons of fluid milk per day.
FDA's San Francisco District (FDA/SAN-DO) conducted six inspections from 1994 through December 2000 in response to several violative drug residues in edible tissues of both dairies reported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA/FSIS). Based on these inspections, FDA issued two Warning Letters to this firm. Despite the warnings given to the Sozinho's during these FDA inspections, as well as several residue violation notification letters issued by the USDA/FSIS to them for illegal tissue residues detected in their animals, they failed to take adequate corrective actions. Voluntary approaches were not successful in correcting the severe animal husbandry and drug adulteration problems found at both dairies.
The Consent Decree permanently restrains and enjoins the Sozinho's from selling cattle for human food consumption until all of the provisions of the Decree are met. The provisions of the Decree include an animal identification system, a medication record keeping system, a drug inventory system, a drug use system, a quarantine system, and an animal sales certification system. In addition, the Sozinho's reimbursed FDA's costs in the amount of $12,314.38 for investigational expenses incurred subsequent to the 1994 inspection and Warning Letter. FDA/SAN-DO will periodically monitor both dairies.
FDA/SAN-DO conducted all the investigative work for this case. CVM’s Division of Compliance, FDA’s Office of the Chief Counsel and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Consumer Litigation handled the case processing, litigation, and negotiation.