Food Animal Residue Avoidance Databank

Livestock producers, veterinarians, and feed producers recognize food residue avoidance as the key to consumer confidence, and they are enhancing and formalizing programs that will permeate every facet of the production system. The development of effective residue avoidance and quality assurance programs requires access to a vast array of information. The Food Animal Residue Avoidance Databank (FARAD) offers the means to provide this information.

NIFA administers the funding that establishes and maintains FARAD, a computer-based decision support system designed to provide livestock producers, extension specialists, and veterinarians with practical information on how to avoid drug, pesticide, and environmental contaminant residue problems. The drugs and pesticides used in modern animal agriculture improve animal health and thereby promote more efficient and humane production.

Wherever drugs are used to treat sick animals or prevent disease, there is a potential that residues may be incurred. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which must approve all drugs meant to be marketed for use in animals, establishes tolerances for drug residues (similar to speed limits) to ensure food safety. The FDA also establishes “withdrawal times” or “withholding periods,” which are times after drug treatment when milk and eggs are not to be used for food and during which animals are not to be slaughtered. This allows time for the animals to eliminate the drug residues.

FARAD is a repository of comprehensive residue avoidance information. FARAD also is sanctioned to provide these estimates to the U.S. Pharmacopeia-Drug Information (USP-DI) Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee. Since 1982, FARAD has been working with producers, extension specialists and agents, and veterinarians to help avoid and mitigate residue problems. As a cooperative multistate program, FARAD is available nationwide to offer advice about residue avoidance.