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Bill Aims To Curb Antibiotic Misuse

by Britt E. Erickson
March 4, 2013 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 91, Issue 9

Credit: Shutterstock
Bill would allow tracking of antibiotic use in swine raised for food.
View inside of an industrial pig farm.
Credit: Shutterstock
Bill would allow tracking of antibiotic use in swine raised for food.

Reps. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) and Louise M. Slaughter (D-N.Y.) have introduced legislation in the House of Representatives that would authorize FDA to collect data on the amount and use of antibiotics given to farm animals raised for human consumption. Called the Delivering Antimicrobial Transparency in Animals Act (H.R. 820), the bill would also require large-scale producers of poultry, swine, and livestock to provide FDA with data about antibiotics added to animal feed. “With this information, scientists will be able to better pinpoint the relationship between the routine use of antibiotics in animals and the development of dangerous resistant bugs that can harm humans,” Waxman says. A coalition of public health and environmental organizations is urging Congress to include such legislation in the reauthorization of the Animal Drug User Fee Act, which expires on Sept. 30, the end of this fiscal year. This act allows FDA to collect fees from the animal drug industry to help speed up the approval of new animal drugs.


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