Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has introduced “Preventing Antibiotic Resistance Act of 2013,” which would prohibit the use of human antibiotics in the feed and water of livestock if they “jeopardize” human health.  Drug companies and agriculture producers would have to demonstrate that antibiotics are used to treat clinically diagnosable disease and not used to “fatten” livestock.  Senator Feinstein said, “The irresponsible use of antibiotics is dangerous.  We must preserve the efficacy of these life-saving drugs by carefully restricting their overuse in our agriculture products.” 

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The legislation:

·        Directs the Food and Drug Administration to prohibit the use of antibiotics in ways that accelerate antibiotic resistance;

·        Requires drug companies and producers to demonstrate they are using antibiotics to treat clinically diagnosable diseases, not just to increase growth in livestock;

·        Applies restrictions to only the limited number of antibiotics that are critical to human health. Any drug not used in human medicine is left untouched by this legislation;

·        Preserves the ability of farmers to use all available antibiotics to treat sick animals. If a veterinarian identifies a sick animal, or a herd of animals that are likely to become sick, there are no restrictions on what drugs can be used.

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