Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (H.R. 1150)
Representative Louise Slaughter (D-NY) has reintroduced H.R. 1150, the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA), which would prohibit the non-therapeutic feeding of medically important antibiotics to livestock.
An estimated 80% of all antibiotics used in this country are squandered for non‐therapeutic purposes—to keep animals raised in overcrowded, stressful and unsanitary conditions from getting sick, and to artificially speed their growth. It is now widely accepted that the abuse of antibiotic medicines by America’s large food animal corporations has led to certain medically important antibiotics becoming far less effective when treating key human diseases.
It’s important to note that this sub-therapeutic use of antibiotics is not designed to treat individual sick animals, but simply to prevent the inevitable outbreak of diseases which would otherwise occur due to conditions in which intensively-reared animals are kept. However, a direct consequence of this sub-therapeutic use of antibiotics in industrial livestock farming is that it provides the perfect conditions for bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics.
As a result, some very dangerous bacteria, such as E. coli and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), are now resistant to multiple antibiotics. Evidence shows that these so-called superbugs have now crossed from farm animals to the wider human population to create a pool of bacteria that are so resistant to treatment that people have died. The American Medical Association’s journal estimated there were 18,650 MRSA deaths in the U.S. in 2005 alone. The proposed legislation will make the feeding of antibiotics for anything but welfare and disease control illegal, and ensure that medically critical antibiotics remain effective for humans for as long as possible, saving lives—not short-term corporate profits.
- would prohibit the non-therapeutic feeding of medically-important antibiotics to livestock;
- would withdraw FDA approval of antibiotics for non-therapeutic use unless the drug manufacturer demonstrates a reasonable certainty that such use will not harm human health due to antibiotic resistance; and
- would not restrict the use of antibiotics to treat sick animals. In addition, it would only reach classes of drugs used in human medicine, leaving other drug options available to producers.
What You Can Do
Please email, call or write your Representative today and urge them to cosponsor the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (H.R. 1150) and help ensure that medically critical antibiotics continue to work for humans for a long time to come.
You can send your Representative an email through the Compassion Index by clicking here. Once you are on the Compassion Index page, you will find suggested talking points to include in your email.
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