ARS and FSIS take on chemical residues.
Subject: Livestock industry (Research)
Veterinary drug residues (Research)
Food (Safety and security measures)
Food (Research)
Author: Bliss, Rosalie Marion
Pub Date: 04/01/2011
Publication: Name: Agricultural Research Publisher: U.S. Government Printing Office Audience: Academic; General Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Agricultural industry; Biotechnology industry; Business Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 U.S. Government Printing Office ISSN: 0002-161X
Issue: Date: April, 2011 Source Volume: 59 Source Issue: 4
Topic: Event Code: 310 Science & research
Organization: Government Agency: United States. Food Safety and Inspection Service
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 273420937
Full Text: Chemical residues of any kind are of concern in food-producing animals. Steven Lehotay and Marilyn Schneider at the ARS Eastern Regional Research Center (ERRC) in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania, and colleagues with the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) in St. Louis, Missouri, are developing both field-based and laboratory-based testing methods to detect veterinary drug residues in cattle.

For screening, the ERRC team and the FSIS Midwestern Laboratory compared the three major in-plant tests in use: the fast antibiotic-screening test (FAST), which was used by FSIS at the time of the study, and recently developed commercial tests called "PremiTest" and "KIS Test" (kidney inhibition swab). All three tests were evaluated in both kidney exudate and blood serum, and the new commercial tests were more effective and faster than FAST. These findings were used by FSIS to help them choose KIS to replace FAST for monitoring antibiotics in kidney tissues from cattle at slaughter establishments.

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The ARS team used their own instrument-based method to test for 121 drug residues at a time from more than 200 samples from culled dairy cows collected from a slaughter establishment. FSIS is working with the ERRC group to implement the new approach at the FSIS laboratories.

Chemist Janice Huwe, in the Animal Metabolism-Agricultural Chemicals Research Unit in Fargo, North Dakota, teams up with FSIS in an ongoing effort to find out whether unwanted chemicals are in meat animals. Huwe and her colleagues survey domestic food-producing animals from federally inspected slaughterhouses across the country for the presence of chemicals like dioxin and PCBs--toxic environmental pollutants--and PBDEs, flame-retardant chemicals used in electronics, clothing, and household goods.

And there is good news. A comparison of data from the two collection years of 2002 and 2008 showed declining trends for all the pollutants--decreases of up to 25 percent in beef, chicken, and turkey. Pork levels showed no change but remained at levels that were nearly undetectable. PBDE pollutants were reduced by more than 50 percent in each food category. This is most likely because PBDEs were removed from production in the United States in 2004.--By Rosalie Marion Bliss, ARS.
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