NSAC's Blog

Senator Feinstein Sponsors Bill to Restrict Antibiotic Use in Livestock Industry

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:

  • Phase out the non-therapeutic use of medically important antibiotics in the livestock industry;
  • Require new applications for antibiotic usage in livestock operations to demonstrate that the use of the antibiotic will not endanger public health;
  • Not restrict the use of antibiotics to treat sick livestock or pets.

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.

Categories: Conservation, Energy & Environment, Food Safety, Local & Regional Food Systems

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