Bills have been introduced in the US Congress that
would phase out within two years the non-therapeutic use in animal feed of
antibiotics that are deemed important to human medicine. They also would require
manufacturers to submit information on the amounts of such drugs
The Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act was introduced in
the Senate by Edward
Kennedy (Democrat, Massachusetts), along with senator Olympia Snowe (Republican, Maine). The House
version was introduced by rules committee chair, Louise Slaughter (Democrat, New York),
the only microbiologist in
Pressure has been growing to
discontinue the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in animal feed citing the
growing resistance to the medicines in humans.
The bill also requires
the pharmaceutical companies making agricultural antibiotics to submit data on
the quantity of drugs they sell, along with information on the claimed purpose
and the dosage form of those drugs, to help public health officials track the
implementation of the phase out.
said the bill has the support of more than 350 health, agriculture and other
groups. It would phase-out within two years the use of antibiotics in animal
feed that are also important to human medicine such as
Supporters say it still leaves farmers many antibiotics
that are not used in human medicine. The bill also authorises funds to help
farmers defray the cost of phasing out the use of medically-important
Similar bills were
introduced in previous Congresses but never made it to the floor of the
respective Houses, but proponents think they have a better chance this year in a
Congress controlled by Democrats.
In the European Union, antibiotic
growth promoters were banned from animal feed as from January 1st,
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