Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations
Blankers, Glen 27-Nov-02
22201 23rd Drive SE
Bothell, WA 98021-4421
November 27, 2002
VIA CERTIFIED MAIL
RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED
In reply refer to Warning Letter SEA 03-06
Glen A. Blankers, Owner
9383 Guide Meridian
Lynden, Washington 98264
Dear Mr. Blankers:
An investigation at your dairy located at 9383 Guide Meridian, Lynden, Washington, by our investigator on October 3-4, 25, 2002, confirmed that you offered animals for sale for slaughter as food in violation of Section 402(a)(2)(C)(ii), and 402(a)(4) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act).
A food is adulterated under Section 402(a)(2)(C)(ii) of the Act if it contains a new animal drug that is unsafe within the meaning of Section 512 of the Act.
On May 20, 2002, you delivered a jersey cow with back tag #91 FX 9989 identified on USDA Case #02-0802-WA, Form #411505, for slaughter as human food to [redacted] USDA analysis of tissue samples collected from that animal sulfadimethoxine in the liver at 12.18 ppm, and in the muscle at 3.79 ppm.
A tolerance of 0.1 ppm has been established for residues of sulfadimethoxine in edible tissues of cattle (Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations 556.640). This excess residue of sulfadimethoxine in edible tissue from this animal causes the food to be adulterated.
A food is adulterated under Section 402(a)(4) of the Act "if it has been prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions . . .whereby it may have been rendered injurious to health." As it applies in this case, "insanitary conditions" means that you hold animals which are ultimately offered for sale for slaughter as food under conditions that are so inadequate that medicated animals bearing potentially harmful drug residues are likely to enter the food supply. For example, you lack an adequate system for assuring that animals to which you administer medication have been withheld from slaughter for appropriate periods of time to deplete potentially hazardous residues of drugs from edible tissues; you have no animal medication records that would identify which animal had been medicated, what date the treatment was administered, what type and dosage of medication had been used, and what the withdrawal times should be; and you lack an adequate system for assuring that drugs are used in a manner not contrary to the directions contained in their labeling.
It is not necessary for you to personally ship an adulterated animal in interstate commerce to be responsible for a violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The fact that you caused the adulteration of an animal that was sold and subsequently offered for sale to a slaughterhouse that ships in interstate commerce is sufficient to hold you responsible for a violation of the Act.
The above is not intended to be an all-inclusive list of violations. As a producer of animals offered for use as food, you are responsible for assuring that your overall operations and the foods you distribute are in compliance with the law.
You should take prompt action to correct the above violations and to establish procedures whereby such violations do not recur. Failure to do so may result in regulatory action without further informal notice. These actions may include, but are not limited to, seizure and/or injunction.
You should notify this office in writing, within fifteen (15) working days of the receipt of this letter, of the specific steps you have taken to bring your firm into compliance with the law. If corrective action cannot be completed within 15 working days, state the reason for the delay and the time frame within which the corrections will be completed. Please include copies of any available documentation demonstrating that corrections have been made.
Please send your reply to the Food and Drug Administration, Attention: Lisa M. Elrand, Compliance Officer, 22201 23rd Drive SE, Bothell, Washington 98021-4421, If you have questions regarding any issue in this letter, please contact Lisa M. Elrand, Compliance Officer, at (425) 483-4913.
Charles M. Bceen