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Drug Residues and Food Safety

Clell V. Bagley DVM, Utah State University


Complaints and demands from consumers concerning a product usually occur after an incident involving injury, illness or death. However, this was not the case with the Alar scare with apples and it is not the case with the concern for drug residues in food animal products. There has been no increase in drug residues; in fact the rate of violation has steadily decreased. Neither has there been any outbreaks of illness, allergic reactions, or deaths related to residues, nor has there been a decrease in the quality of food animal products. There has been increased concern among consumers about antibiotic and other drug or chemical residues. There has also been increased emphasis from the regulatory agencies to monitor and prevent residues