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  • Unconventional Ag

FDA Says Company Selling Contaminated Animal Feed Additive Might Have Known

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is continuing its nearly year-long investigation Ansonia, Ohio-based Shur-Green Farms for selling a soyoil blend that was contaminated with high levels of lascadoil waste intended for the biofuel industry. According to the FDA, the company may have been aware that the soyoil blend used as an animal feed additive contained the fuel oil.

The scandal dates back to last year when in October 2014 Shur-Green Farms issued a voluntary recall of the soyoil blend. The recall extended to any batches that were made on or before mid-September of last year and was in the wake of the death of tens of thousands of turkeys at a group of family farms in Michigan in August 2014.

The turkeys, which can handle smaller doses of the oil than what they consumed, were never sold to the public. Meanwhile, the slaughter of nearly 36,000 pigs that similarly consumed the contaminated feed was delayed by almost a month for safety reasons.

While the investigation is ongoing, preliminary reports from the FDA following a visit by an agency official to Shur-Green Farms suggests the company might have been aware that the animal feed additive contained lascadoil and proceeded to mislabel and sell the product anyway.

The findings suggest the company blatantly sold the contaminated soyoil blend to its broker, insisting that the fuel oil was an approved additive in animal feed, and continued to sell the product to manufacturers even after being told the FDA had launched an investigation.

After being contacted by the FDA, Shur-Green Farms’ response letter last November reportedly failed to convince agency officials that the problems were fixed. A more recent letter by Shur-Green Farms says the company is no longer supplying the product.

Sietsema Farms, the group of Michigan-based family farms, is considering legal action against Shur-Green Farms.

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