The congresswoman said the bill, S. 622, the Animal Drug and Animal Generic Drug User Fee Reauthorisation Act (ADUFA), contains inadequate disclosure requirements for antibiotic use in food-animals, and said the bill did nothing to address the antibiotic shortage crisis.
Currently, 80 per cent of all antibiotics sold in the United States are sold for agricultural use.
Most often, these antibiotics are distributed at sub-therapeutic levels to healthy animals as a way to compensate for crowded and unsanitary living conditions or to promote growth, Rep Slaughter said.
As a result, the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria has accelerated, to the point where Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) now kills more Americans than HIV/AIDS she added.
In her speech in opposition, Rep Slaughter said: “Just today, The New York Times reported that we are simultaneously facing a shortage of effective antibiotics and a growing threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Already, antibiotic-resistant disease claims 70,000 American lives each year.
“According to today’s report Dr Janet Woodcock, Director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the Food and Drug Administration has warned that, ‘It is bad now, and the infectious disease docs are frantic. But what is worse is the thought of where we will be five to 10 years from now’.”
“A major reason for the increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria is the routine overuse of antibiotics in our nation’s livestock. This irresponsible practice has already been scientifically linked to the growth of superbugs. It is clear- and has been clear for quite a while- that the federal government must act to end this dangerous practice.”