June 21, 2011
On Friday June 17, Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) introduced the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA), S. 1211, which aims to reduce the use of antibiotics in the livestock industry. If the bill becomes law, it would:
The bill was developed in collaboration by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jack Reed (D-RI), and currently has 17 co-sponsors. A companion bill was introduced in March 2011 in the House (H.R 965) by Representative Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and currently has 60 co-sponsors.
Since 2003, there have been four attempts on both the House and Senate side to pass into law a version of the current bills proposed by Feinstein and Slaughter. All of those bills died in committee. Given the passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act last year, and recent outbreaks of food borne illnesses in the US and abroad, the hope is that these bills will experience greater receptivity than their predecessors.
You can read more about legal and legislative action to limit antibiotic use in the livestock industry in an NSAC blog post published on May 25, 2011.