September 11, 2008

Cattle Dealer Sentenced for Contempt

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced the sentencing of a West Virginia cattle dealer to six months probation.

Shirley Rhodes of Sandyville, W.Va., was convicted of refusing to obey court orders that prohibited her from introducing animals into the food supply until the FDA had approved her record-keeping system, the agency said.

The FDA said it initiated the case after illegal levels of drug residue were found repeatedly in calves that Rhodes sold for use as human food.

U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Goodwin in Charleston, W.Va., found Rhodes guilty in July of criminal and civil contempt for introducing adulterated food into the marketplace and for failing to maintain proper medication records for calves as part of her business, Rhodes Livestock.

The violations occurred over a number of years and involved 23 positive tests for drugs such as neomycin, penicillin, gentamicin and other antibiotics, the FDA said. No repercussions to human health were reported.

Rhodes is barred for six months from purchasing, selling, obtaining or transferring any animals that might be used as human food. After the six-month probation ends, she will be prohibited from those activities until the FDA approves her written record-keeping system.