A Senate Bill To Limit Antibiotics In Food-Producing Animals

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In the latest effort to combat the spread of superbugs that are resistant to , a was introduced in the US that would direct the FDA to prohibit the use of these treatments in the livestock if it would jeopardize human health.

The ‘Preventing Antibiotic Resistance Act’ would require drugmakers and agricultural producers to demonstrate that antibiotics are used to treat clinically diagnosable disease and not just fatten farm . Overuse of antibiotics has been cited for causing superbugs to develop.

“When antibiotics are fed in low doses to animals, only the strongest, most resistant bacteria are left behind to reproduce,” says US Senator Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat who introduced the bill, in a statement. “By the time these resistant pathogens make their way from the animals into our communities, the infections can be costly to treat or untreatable all together” (here is the bill).

She cited a 2011 study that was published in Clinical Infectious Diseasesand  found nearly 50 percent of grocery store meat was contaminated with antibiotic resistant pathogens, and about 25 percent was contaminated with pathogens that were resistant to three or more type of antibiotics (here is the study).

This latest legislative effort comes not long after a similar bill (look here) was introduced in the House by Louise Slaughter,  a New York Democrat, and amid ongoing attempts by some lawmakers to strengthen the law so that antibiotics given food-producing livestock do not create human resistance to the…Read more

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