Safe, high-quality milk and dairy foods begin with healthy cows. Dairy farmers work with veterinarians to keep their cows healthy and minimize the need for antibiotics.
Are there antibiotics in my milk?
No. All milk — both regular and organic — is tested for antibiotics. Cows sometimes get sick and require medicine, but their milk does not go into the milk supply. If milk tests positive for antibiotics, it is disposed of and never enters the food stream. Less than 0.02% of all milk tested last year ever had an issue.
Why do dairy farmers give cows antibiotics?
Sometimes, cows get sick, just as some humans do. Without proper medical care, the cows would become seriously ill or die. So, it is simply humane to treat them – and make them well again with medications prescribed by veterinarians. If a cow is treated with antibiotics, she is kept in a separate pen or milking group. The milk from that cow is disposed of, and does not reach the food supply. Milk and other dairy products are among the safest, highest quality foods in the U.S. as a result of government and industry regulatory and quality control programs.
What happens to a cow being treated with an antibiotic and her milk?
These cows are housed separately so they can be closely monitored. In addition, dairy cows that are given antibiotics wear leg bands to make sure they are not milked with the rest of the herd. To prevent any trace of antibiotics from entering the milk supply, the FDA requires that all milk — organic and regular — be tested for commonly used antibiotics when it arrives at the dairy processing plant. Any milk that tests positive is rejected by the plant.