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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Animal & Veterinary

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FROM FDA'S OFFICE OF CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS

FDA Veterinarian Newsletter 2002 Volume XVI, No III

The FDA's Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI), Chi-cago Field Office initiated an investigation into Gerald L. HERRELL and his business, B & H VEAL, as a result of a referral from the FDA Minneapolis District Office. Allegations included that HERRELL/B & H VEAL caused the feeding of the unapproved new animal drug nitrofurazone (NFZ) to veal calves intended for human food. In addition, HERRELL and B & H VEAL allegedly sold veal calves fed NFZ to a meat packing company for slaughter as human food. The sale of animals fed NFZ for human food is a violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&CA).

Special agents of the FDA's Office of Criminal Investigations, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations (USDA/OIG/OI), and CSOs from the FDA, Minneapolis District Office, executed federal search warrants at B & H VEAL and at HERRELL's residence, where empty NFZ packets and NFZ labeling were seized.

On March 14, 2001, in U.S. District Court, Milwaukee, WI, HERRELL was convicted of violating Title 21, U.S.C., § 331(a) and 333(a)(1) for his introduction into interstate commerce of an adulterated food, namely veal calves for human consumption that had been treated with NFZ, after the January 1992 NFZ ban. The District Court Judge admonished HERRELL for putting the human food supply at risk and sentenced HERRELL to one year probation and ordered HERRELL to pay a $3,000.00 fine.

On October 23, 2001, FLAV-O-RICH DAIRY entered into an Agreement for Pre-Trial Diversion with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Virginia in Roanoke, VA. The agreement holds criminal charges regarding the introduction of adulterated milk into interstate commerce in abeyance, pending successful completion of a twelve-month period of supervised probation. The agreement also requires FLAV-O-RICH to implement an intensive monitoring and education program to ensure that antibiotic tainted milk is detected and destroyed.

This case originated when it was determined that the FLAV-O-RICH plant in Bristol, VA was not properly testing for the presence of antibiotics in bulk milk tanker trucks that delivered raw milk for processing. As a result, 2% and whole milk products containing antibiotics were shipped in interstate commerce. Random sampling conducted by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture detected the presence of antibiotics in milk packaged by FLAV-O-RICH. The company initiated a voluntary recall of 2% milk products, but failed to recall all of the adulterated whole milk products.