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FDA News

September 11, 2008

Media Inquiries:
Siobhan DeLancey, 301-827-0857
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FDA: West Virginia Livestock Owner Sentenced in Criminal and Civil Contempt Case

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today that a West Virginia cattle dealer has been sentenced to six months probation for refusing to obey court orders in 2006 and 2008 that prohibited her from introducing animals into the food supply until the FDA had approved her record-keeping system. The FDA initiated the case after illegal levels of drug residue were found repeatedly in calves that Shirley A. Rhodes of Sandyville sold for use as human food.

On July 30, 2008, U.S. District Court Judge Joseph R. Goodwin sentenced Rhodes, finding her guilty of criminal and civil contempt for introducing adulterated food into the marketplace and for failing to maintain proper medication records for calves as part of her business, Rhodes Livestock. The violations occurred over a number of years, as recently as 2008, and involved 23 positive tests for drugs such as neomycin, penicillin, gentamicin and other antibiotics. No repercussions to human health were reported.

Under terms of her probation, Rhodes is barred for six months from purchasing, selling, obtaining, or transferring any animals that may be used as human food.  After that date, she is prohibited from these activities until the FDA approves her written record-keeping system.

There are numerous drugs approved for use in animals ultimately intended for food. The FDA establishes drug tolerance levels to assure that there will be no harmful effects to consumers eating these food products. The U.S Department of Agriculture routinely tests tissue samples from animals intended for food in order to monitor drug tolerance levels. USDA fully supports actions taken against repeat offenders to further protect the food supply from potentially unsafe products.


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