Here's the introduction to the U.S. Attorney's Civil Complaint in U.S. v. Virtue Calves, et. al., No. 11-cv-1682-GEB (thanks, Courthouse News, 6/23/11) in which the feds seek a permanent injunction to bar Virtue Cattle from purchasing and selling veal calves for human food with allegedly excessive levels of antibiotics:
1. The United States brings this statutory injunction proceeding pursuant to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the "Act"), 21 U.S.C. § 332(a), to enjoin defendants from violating 21 U.S.C. § 331(a) by introducing and delivering for introduction into interstate commerce food that is adulterated within the meaning of 21 U.S.C. §§ 342(a)(2)(C)(ii) and 342(a)(4).
2. Defendants violate the Act by purchasing and selling veal calves for use as human food that contain illegal drug residues in their edible tissues. Such veal calves are adulterated under 21 U.S.C. § 342(a)(2)(C)(ii) because they contain unsafe new animal drugs. Defendants also violate the Act by failing to keep complete and accurate written records regarding the medication status and identity of the calves they purchase and sell and to implement controls and systems to identify and segregate medicated calves to avoid introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce. Because such conditions may render the veal calves sold for use as human food injurious to health, such veal calves are adulterated under 21 U.S.C. § 342(a)(4).
3. Levels of antibiotics in the edible tissues of animals above those permitted by FDA pose a significant public health risk. For example, ingesting food containing out-of-tolerance antibiotic levels can cause severe adverse reactions among the general population even at very low levels, as well as harm to consumers sensitive to antibiotics. Illegal drug residues also can affect the metabolic activity of the microbial flora in humans causing diarrhea, overgrowth of pathogenic microorganisms, vitamin deficiencies, and complications with drug therapies. Furthermore, meat containing excessive levels of antibiotics may cause antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria to grow in humans who eat or handle meat containing illegal drug residues.