Mass Poultricide Blamed on Drug-tainted Feed
An FDA investigation recently determined that the deaths of 57,700 turkeys on a Michigan family farm last summer resulted from consuming drug-tainted oil mislabeled and sold as feed oil.
Shur-Green Farms, which recycles organic waste and materials, sold an animal feed manufacturer a shipment of oil tainted with toxically high levels of lasalocid sodium, which is used in animal drugs to combat parasites. The issue: this blend of oil is only approved for use as biofuel, and Shur-Green mislabeled this oil as food-grade. The oil was then sold to Sietsama Farms, a network of family farms.
Within days of feeding their flocks contaminated feed, the farmers at Sietsama had to face a devastating reality. Five of the farms’ turkey flocks were dead, several tons of feed were rendered useless, and 35,900 swine that were fit to go to market had to wait about one month to ensure that none of them were contaminated as well. Overall, Shur-Green’s misrepresentation of the biofuel oil cost Sietsama more than $1 million.
According to the FDA warning to Shur-Green obtained by Michigan Small Farm Council, Shur-Green not only knowingly marketed, sold and shipped the biofuel oil as for use in animal feed in late July, it sold the misrepresented oil twice in September after the FDA had already ordered the incineration of the remaining oil.
MLive states that there is no insurance coverage for this kind of loss that would help offset the impact of this incident on Sietsama Farms, which plans to file a legal complaint soon.