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Daily News Archive
From February 27, 2002

Cows Die After Ingesting Pesticide, Possible Milk Contamination

The Indiana Star reports that several cows ingested the granular pesticide, AztecTM, after they got into a building storing the pesticide. Hours later the cows were milked, causing great concern for the possibility that the milk, contaminated with the pesticide, was sold to the public. Over the next two days, the cows became ill and 15 cows died.

Once the incident was reported, Indiana Board of Animal Health placed the dairy farm in Starke County, Indiana under an emergency order. Several Dean Foods Co. diary products, including Deans's and Meijer brand white milk and Dean's cottage cheese (sell-by dates between February 27 and March 1), were recalled because two loads of the potentially tainted milked was shipped to and processed by the Rochester, Indiana plant and distributed to stores. The Board of Animal Health is testing the remaining herd to determine the extent of the contamination.

Aztec, containing the active ingredient phostebupirim which is a combination of cyfluthrin and tebupirimiphos, is an organophosphate insecticide. Its chemical structure resembles the organochlorine DDT more than other pyrethroids. Like DDT, cyfluthrin rapidly accumulates in fatty tissues, including the central nervous system and persists in the environment.

For more information, contact Beyond Pesticides.