For the last couple of years, I have been hosting dairy farm tours for University of Arkansas nutrition students. We have had very interesting conversations about how we produce milk and the fact that milk and dairy products are among the most highly regulated foods in this country. Many students state that they buy a particular brand of milk because it states it contains no antibiotics and they feel it is safer than the other brand. Is this marketing at its best or worst?
Although we sometimes find it necessary to treat cows with antibiotics when they are ill, the milk from those cows is discarded and does not go into the milk supply. Milk from a treated cow will be tested by our dairy cooperative lab and declared antibiotic free before it can be returned to the supply. It is illegal for any dairy farmer to sell milk that might contain antibiotics and we take the responsibility to produce safe milk seriously. Each load of milk is tested for antibiotic on the farm before it is loaded onto the milk transport truck, before it is unloaded at the processing plant and at least two more times before processing occurs. Strict U.S. government standards ensure that milk is wholesome,safe, and nutritious. More information about dairy food safety can be found at http://www.midwestdairy.com/ or http://www.dairyfarmingtoday.org/.