Just 350 tankers out of more 3.5 million loads of milk tested positive for drug residues in fiscal year 2016, ending September 30, according to the National Milk Drug Residue Database. That’s a violation rate of 0.011%, the lowest level in 20 years and just one-eighth of the rate in 1997.

Another 407,592 producer samples were tested, likely after the producers themselves called their processors fearing a mistake had happened. Of these samples, another 261 were positive, for a violation rate of 0.064%.

Of the tanker loads, the vast majority of the loads were Grade A with a violation rate of 0.011%. The non-Grade A violation rate, making up 3.8% of the samples, had a violation rate of 0.018%.

A total of 619 residues were detected from the tanker samples and the producer samples. The vast majority, 612, were from beta lactams. Sulfonamides accounted for six of the positives and tetracyclines, one. 

A pilot program to more vigorously test for tetracyclines has been likely delayed, but could start later this year if a second tetracycline residue test can be validated.