Company faces $80,000 fine over adulterated feed

By Aerin Einstein-Curtis

- Last updated on GMT

Company faces $80,000 fine over adulterated feed

Related tags Milk Dairy farming

The Canadian company Meunerie Sawyerville faces an $80,000 fine and a year of probation for reportedly importing and distributing a load of feed adulterated with monensin.

Yves Bolduc, president of Meunerie Sawyerville, pleaded guilty for the corporation in US District Court in Rutland, Vermont in July, stated court documents.

Case documents reported that, the corporation pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to Customs and Boarder Protection officials and one count of fraudulently allowing the drug monensin to enter interstate business at higher levels than those allowed by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Monensin levels

The FDA approved some drugs containing monensin in 2004 with some additional approvals for component feeding systems in 2005. The drug can be used as a feed additive for cattle to prevent or control coccidiosis or boost weight gain, and for dairy cows, to improve milk production. At specified levels it has been deemed safe and does not carry a withdrawal period before slaughter or milk usage.

Different amounts of the supplement were set for different uses, for types of cattle these include a range from 15g per ton to 400g per ton, said the FDA. Dairy usage of monensin as a type C medicated feed supplement also varies from, in a total mixed ration, 11-22g/ton on a 100% dry matter basis, and as a component of feed, between 11g per ton and 400g per ton and it must be included in at least one pound of feed. 

Case details and charges

In case documents, the US Attorney for Vermont charged that from about September 12, 2012 through January 15, 2013 the company “made and used a false writing.” ​The documents reportedly included a fictitious statement by giving a fake automated commercial environment manifest that listed a fictitious importer named Ted Taft.

The documents were shown to officials with Customs and Border Protection at the Derby Line Port of Entry in Vermont, said the court documents, even though the company knew that Ted Taft was not the actual importer of the cargo listed on the manifest.

This was reportedly done with the intent to “defraud and mislead,”​ and their actions resulted in a situation where the drug monensin, was “introduced into interstate commerce, and such drug was adulterated,” ​stated court documents.

Information from the US Attorney’s office for the District of Vermont reported when the feed was tested at the border the driver was told to warehouse the feed pending additional examination. Instead, the feed was delivered to a farmer and consumed by cows.

Afterward, reportedly, a second shipment with false documentation was sent to be offered in place of the original shipment.

The parties involved agreed on the fine and probation period, stated court documents.

Court documents said that Bolduc waived his right to prosecution by indictment and agreed to prosecution by information.

What’s next

The case is now set to return to court on Monday, November 9 in Rutland for sentencing from District Judge Geoffrey Crawford.  The sentence is expected to be pursuant to the plea agreement, said Meunerie Sawyerville lawyer Bud Allen.  

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