WASHINGTON — Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) today introduced the Preventing Antibiotic Resistance Act, a bipartisan bill that would eliminate certain antibiotic-related practices that contribute to the rise of drug-resistant bacteria and endanger human health. The legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Jack Reed (D-RI), Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA).
Eight classes of antibiotics that are needed to treat sick people are also given to healthy food animals to spur growth and compensate for overcrowded and unsanitary conditions. The practice is so extensive that, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, drugmakers sold a record 29.9 million pounds of antibiotics for use in food animal production in 2011 — four times what was sold to treat human illness. The proposed legislation would restrict the usage of antibiotics in food animals unless they are sick.
"We commend Senators Feinstein, Collins, Gillibrand, Reed, Boxer and Cantwell for introducing the Preventing Antibiotic Resistance Act," said Laura Rogers, director of the Pew Charitable Trusts’ initiative to reduce antibiotic overuse on industrial farms. "Their legislation is balanced yet comprehensive: It eliminates the use of medically important antibiotics for food production purposes but allows these drugs to be administered to sick animals and to keep them from infecting others. In addition, it does not change the way farmers can use those antibiotics that are not also important in human medicine."
On March 14, Representative Louise Slaughter (D-NY) introduced a similar piece of legislation called the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act of 2013 (H.R. 1150).
|"In the United States alone, resistant bacteria are responsible for tens of thousands of deaths, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and tens of billions of dollars in health-care costs each year."|
There is a significant and growing body of evidence to justify the passage of these bills. Officials from FDA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have testified before Congress that there is a definitive link between the use of antibiotics in food animal production and drug-resistant infections in humans. The American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and other leading scientists and medical experts, including four Nobel laureates, warn that the use of these drugs in food animals creates new strains of dangerous, antibiotic-resistant bacteria. These experts are supported by more than 130 studies conducted over the past four decades, including new research indicating that antibiotic overuse contributes to diseases not traditionally associated with food consumption, such as drug-resistant urinary tract infections and virulent and contagious strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, also known as MRSA.
In the United States alone, resistant bacteria are responsible for tens of thousands of deaths, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and tens of billions of dollars in health-care costs each year.
- Date added:
- Jun 27, 2013
Chris Linaman, executive chef at Overlake Medical Center in Bellevue, WA, is dedicated to creating a more sustainable food system by supporting growers and producers who raise food without the routine use of antibiotics that endanger the public’s health. Working in partnership with Health Care Without Harm and Overlake’s administration, Chris has created a comprehensive sustainable food purchasing policy for Overlake Hospital that has resulted in many impressive achievements in just a short time.More info
Two former FDA commissioners – David Kessler (1990-1997) and Donald Kennedy (1977-1979) – wrote to OMB Director Sylvia Matthews Burwell urging her to take action on antibiotics in agricultural feed.More info
SuperChefs Against Superbugs, an initiative of the Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming, is a movement of chefs nationwide who have expressed their support of ending the misuse and overuse of antibiotics in food animal production. As a result, the SuperChefs are urging the Food and Drug Administration to strengthen its antibiotic policies.More info
In comments to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Pew asked the agency to improve the way it reports annual sales of antibiotics for use in food animal production. Chief among its recommendations, Pew urged the FDA to amend the definition of “therapeutic” antibiotic use to more clearly exclude inappropriate uses for so-called “disease prevention” purposes that, in practice, are similar or identical to growth promotion.More info
Organizations representing the medical, public health, and sustainable agriculture communities are urging the Obama administration to end antibiotic overuse and misuse in food animal production. They asked President Obama to direct the Office of Management and Budget to finalize Food and Drug Administration Guidance #213 and issue a proposed rule on the Veterinary Feed Directive in order to initiate the three-year phase-out of growth promotion and production-related uses of antibiotics.More info
So far this year, more than 300 people have gotten sick from bacteria called Salmonella heidelberg. Almost three-quarters of them live in California. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that chicken produced in three Central California processing facilities is the "likely source of this outbreak" and that the bacteria are "resistant to several commonly prescribed antibiotics."More info
Latest Foodborne Illnesses Show Links Between Farm Antibiotic Use and Resistant Bacteria in U.S. Poultry SupplyAn ongoing outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg this year has already sickened nearly 300 people who consumed contaminated chicken, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More info
This week, The Pew Charitable Trusts delivered a letter signed by 530 chefs to Sam Kass, executive director of Let’s Move! and senior policy advisor for nutrition at the White House, urging the Obama administration to finalize policies to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics and to protect people from resistant superbugs.More info
Consumers across the United States are demanding meat and poultry raised without antibiotics—and large producers, restaurants, and other institutions are listening. Following is a list of some leading companies offering responsibly produced food.More info
Decades have passed since FDA first tried – and failed – to restrict antibiotic use on industrial farms, a practice that contributes to the development of drug resistant bacteria that can infect people. Ask President Obama to finish the jobMore info
Jeffco Public Schools is the largest school district in Colorado with nearly 86,000 students and about 12,000 employees. On Sept. 18, 2013—Colorado Proud Day—the school system began serving chicken raised without antibiotics to its students, along with other fresh, locally produced food. Executive Director of Food and Nutrition Services Linda Stoll answered some questions about the importance of Jeffco’s new menu item.More info