U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) introduced S. 1211, known as the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act of 2011 (PAMTA), on June 15.
The bill amends the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to withdraw seven classes of antibiotics critical for treating infections in humans from use on industrial farms unless animals or herds are sick with disease.
“The emergence of drug-resistant superbugs is a human health problem that affects us all,” says Laura Rogers, project director of Pew Human Health and Industrial Farming. “We commend Sen. Feinstein, Sen. Collins, Sen. Reed and Sen. Boxer for their bipartisan collaboration to ensure that our antibiotics will work for us when we need them most.”
The American Medical Association and other health organizations warn that overuse and misuse of antibiotics in food animal production presents a serious threat to human health because it creates strains of drug-resistant bacteria.
A task force led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health, antibiotic-resistant bacteria could render diseases like pneumonia, meningitis and tuberculosis untreatable.