As measuring technology is becoming more and more sophisticated a dilemma arises: Should testing for antibiotic residues be focused on MRL´s (Maximum Residue Levels) or on the detection limit (DL) of a method, if DL is lower than MRL?

Most consumers generally rely on the MRL´s set by experts – however if they were asked what they preferred: food where antibiotics is below DL or below the MRL, I am convinced they would require that medical residues should not be detectable!
In addition todays increased use of concentrated products such as powder dedicated to baby food call for added attention and taking a stand in the discussion of acceptable levels of medicine residues.

We would therefore like to know YOUR opinion as consumers, parents as well as technologist’s – how should modern control and payment systems be set up?

My opinion is clear: I want to take all available measures to avoid consuming unnecessary antibiotics – however to be fair to milk producers they must be allowed a transition period, during which they can adjust to the stricter penalty regime. They should receive training in correct use of e.g. Ceftifur, which is a remedy for lung disorders, rarely mastitis and what influences the holdback time. Furthermore milk suppliers should have the possibility to have their milk analyzed for inhibitors at home or at the nearest dairy site.

I do believe that over time we must take advantage of the improvements of analytical methods on the market.

Blog post written by

Berte Asmussen
Master of Sci. Milk Production
Master of Dairy Science
Consultant & Business Owner, Raw Milk Connect


John Rhoads commented on 20-Oct-2013 07:33 PM

In this region of the United States it really doesn’t matter if the milk is confirmed positive for an inhibitor using a method where the detection level is below the MRL. The dairy farmer is still penalized and excluded from the market under the adultered milk regulations. It is a violation of the milk regulations to have any type of contaminate in the milk supply regardless of level as long as it is confirmed by analysis.