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FDA Study Finds Little Evidence Of Antibiotics In Milk

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- If you've got milk, have you got... antibiotics?

"It's a very good food," says St. Clair Hospital dietitian Anne Berzinsky. "We all need calcium and vitamin D in our diet, and unfortunately, many people do not get enough of it."

Antibiotics and other drugs are used in dairy farming to keep cows healthy.

"It's always been well-regulated, the amount of antibiotics that they're given, and also the duration," Berzinsky says. "And then those animals have to be pulled from slaughter or from the milking herd until they are testing antibiotic free."

Because of consumer concern over what might be getting into the milk supply, the Food and Drug Administration sampled raw milk from nearly 2,000 dairy farms over two years and tested for 31 drugs, most of which were antibiotics.

Less than one percent of the all samples showed drug residue.

"I think it's great they did this study to give consumers confidence in buying milk and dairy products," says Berzinsky.

The concern about antibiotics getting into things we eat and drink is that this can promote antibiotics resistance -- that is, disease-causing bacteria learn to outwit the drugs we have to fight them.

Only 15 samples showed illegal levels of drug residue. Eleven of these were from farms with previous violations of high levels of antibiotic in beef tissue.

"That is concerning, and that just points out we need these tough regulations," says Berzinsky.

The study was blinded, so no violations were issued as a result of the study.

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