Virtue Calves given severe warning after inspectors find illegal amounts of drug residue in meat
Federal government acts against Galt veal operation
Virtue Calves, located at 10090 East Liberty Road in Galt, is
facing severe fines should it not comply with a consent decree
issued by the FDA after 18 years of violations.
- History of Virtue Calves’ violations
1995: One test that revealed the drugs neomycin
and tetracycline in kidney tissue and liver tissue, respectively,
1997: Two separate tests reveal the drugs
gentamicin and sulfamethoxazole in kidney tissue and liver and
2001: Eight separate tests reveal multiple
drugs including neomycin, tetracycline, gentamicin and penicillin
in tissue samples taken from Virtue Calves livestock.
2006: One test revealed gentamicin found in
kidney and liver tissue samples from Virtue’s farm.
2008: Three separate tests show drug residues
continue to show up in livestock at Virtue Calves.
2009: Two separate tests conducted in June and
July show neomycin and sulfadiazine in liver, kidney and muscle
tissue of animals at Virtue’s farm.
2010: After 10 separate tests reveal more drug
residues, the Virtues face legal action from the FDA for
continually violating the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act.
— Source: United States District Court for the Eastern
District of California, Sacramento Division, Civil No.
- What is veal?
Veal is the meat of young calves, as opposed to beef, which is
from older cattle. Veal can be produced from a calf of either sex
of any breed, but most of the time veal comes from male calves of
dairy cattle breeds. There are five types of veal: bob veal,
formula-fed (milk-fed) veal, non-formula-fed (grain-fed) veal, rose
veal and free-raised veal. Veal in the United States contributes
$250 million to the American dairy industry.
- How veal is produced
Newborn calves are given a varied amount of time with their
mothers, ranging from a few hours to a few days. Free-raised calves
are raised alongside their mothers, and always have access to their
mother’s milk. Veal is created from calves that are slaughtered
anywhere from the age of days old to 35 weeks old, depending on the
type of veal desired.
Posted: Wednesday, July 6, 2011 10:23 am
Updated: 6:11 am, Thu Jul 7, 2011.
Along a hot, empty road on the outskirts of Galt, Virtue Calves
seems isolated from the rest of the world, save for the hundred or
so calves that lounge in a corral behind a quiet home.
The veal operation, run by John Virtue and his daughter Shannon,
was recently slapped with a severe warning from the U.S. Food and
Drug Administration after federal inspectors found illegal amounts
of drug residue in meat from the operation.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011 10:23 am.
Updated: 6:11 am.