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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Animal & Veterinary

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Consent Decree Against New York Dairy

FDA Veterinarian Newsletter November/December 2003 Volume XVIII, No 6

On October 17, 2003, a Consent Decree of Permanent Injunction was signed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York against Anthony DiNitto, Sr., Anthony DiNitto, Jr., and William Nunes for the sale of cows and calves for human consumption whose tissues exceeded FDA's tolerances for residues of penicillin and sulfadimethoxine.

The use of drugs such as penicillin and sulfadimethoxine in livestock and poultry is strictly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA.) Before any drug intended for use in animals is approved, it must undergo extensive testing to demonstrate that the food from these animals is safe for human consumption. Withdrawal periods for drugs in edible tissues, which are based upon the depletion and elimination of the drug to a safe residue level in those tissues, ensure that the food we eat is safe and healthful. If an illegal drug residue is detected, FDA investigates the matter and takes regulatory action, if necessary. This is what happened in the DiNitto case.

A series of violative tissue samples from Anthony DiNitto Dairy were collected from December 31, 1998, through February 15, 2002. DiNitto Dairy produces more than 7 million gallons of milk a year. It also ships cull cows (cows that are removed from milking because they are producing too little milk) and calves for human consumption.

Under the terms of the Consent Decree, the defendants must implement systems for identifying animals, record-keeping, drug control, drug accountability, and drug residue withdrawal control.

The FDA's New York District Office conducted the investigation that lead to this Consent Decree. FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine Division of Compliance and the Office of the Chief Counsel, and the United States Department of Justice's Office of Consumer Litigation were responsible for the case processing and legal procedures.