Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations
Vermeer Dairy 14-Nov-06
Department of Health and Human Services
Public Health Service
November 14, 2006
RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED
In reply refer to Warning Letter SEA 07-02
Michael H . Vermeer, General Manager and Co-Owner
18883 Friends Road
Caldwell, Idaho 83607
Dear Mr. Vermeer:
An investigation of your dairy operation located at 18883 Friends Road, Caldwell, Idaho, conducted by representatives of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on September 14 and 15, 2006, confirmed that you offered an animal for sale for slaughter as food that was adulterated under sections 402(a)(2)(C)(ii) [21 U.S.C . 342 (a)(2)(C)(ii)] and 402(a)(4) [21 U.S.C. 342 (a)(4)] of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act). The inspection also revealed that you caused the new animal drug, penicillin G procaine, to become unsafe under section 512 of the Act [21 U.S.C. 360b] and adulterated within the meaning of section 501(a)(5) of the Act [21 U.S.C. 351(a)(5)]. You can find the Act and its. associated regulations on the Internet through links on the FDA's web page at www.fda.gov.
On or about June 6, 2006, you sold a dairy cow, identified with Back Tag [redacted] Number 2058 and Back Tag Number 486 for slaughter as food to [redacted] shipped the cow to [redacted]. On or about June 7, 2006, this animal was slaughtered at [redacted]. United States Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA/FSIS) analysis of tissue samples collected from that animal identified the presence of 0.30 parts per million (ppm) of penicillin in the kidney tissue and 0.49 ppm of penicillin in the liver tissue. A tolerance of 0.05 ppm has been established for residues of penicillin in the uncooked edible tissues of cattle, as codified in Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations, section 556.510 (21 C.F.R. 556.510). The presence of penicillin above the established tolerance level in uncooked edible tissues from this animal causes the food to be adulterated within the meaning of section 402(a)(2)(C)(ii) of the Act [(21 U.S.C. 342(a)(2)(C)(ii)].
In addition, you adulterated penicillin G procaine within the meaning of section 501(a)(5) of the Act [21 U.S. C. 351 (a)(5)] when you failed to use the drug in conformance with its approved labeling . "Extralabel use," i.e., the actual or intended use of a drug in an animal in a manner that is not in accordance with the approved labeling, is only permitted if the use is by or on the lawful order of a licensed veterinarian within the context of a valid veterinarian/client/patient relationship . The extralabel use of approved veterinary or human drugs must comply with sections 512(a)(4) and 512(a')(5) of the Act [21 U.S.C. 360b(a)(4) and 360b(a)(5)] and 21 C.F.R. Part 530. Our investigation found that your extralabel use of penicillin G procaine failed to comply with these requirements.
For example, you administered the penicillin G procaine without following the dosage level of treatment or the methods for injecting the drug set forth in the approved labeling and you did so without the supervision of a licensed veterinarian, in violation of 21 C.F.R. 530.11(a). Furthermore, your extralabel use resulted in an illegal drug residue above the established tolerance level, in violation of 21 C.F.R. 530.11(d). Because your extralabel use of this drug was not in compliance with 21 C.F.R. Part 530, the drug was unsafe under section 512(a) of the Act [21 U.S.C. 360b(a)] and your use caused it to be adulterated within the meaning of section 501(a)(5) of the Act [21 U.S.C. 351(a)(5)].
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 ensuring that your overall operation and the food you distribute is in compliance with the law. For example, according to your treatment record, "Life History Report", you did not record the penicillin treatment of the cow identified by Ear Tag 486, although USDA detected
penicillin in this animal at the time of slaughter. Your failure to keep adequate records may have contributed to this animal entering the food supply.
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 notice such as seizure and/or injunction.
You should notify this office in writing of the steps you have taken to bring your firm into compliance with the law within fifteen (15) working days of receiving this letter. Your response should include each step that has been taken or will be taken to correct the violations and prevent their recurrence. If corrective action cannot be completed within fifteen (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 written reply to the Food and Drug Administration, Attention Michael J . Donovan, Compliance Officer, 22201 23rd Drive SE, Bothell, Washington 98021-4421. If you have questions regarding any issue in this letter, please contact Mr. Donovan at (425) 483-4906 .
Charles M . Breen