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Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduce Bill to Increase Data Collection on Antibiotics

Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Susan Collins (R-ME) on Wednesday introduced a bill that would require the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to collect more data on exactly how antimicrobial drugs are used in food animal production.

The Antimicrobial Data Collection Act calls for increased data collection by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), enhanced transparency and public awareness of antimicrobial drug use in agriculture and strengthened FDA accountability regarding unsafe antimicrobial drug use. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that, each year, antimicrobial resistance costs taxpayers $20 billion in excessive healthcare and results in more severe illness and a greater risk of death for infected patients. Currently, there are at least six multidrug resistant major human pathogens.

“Antimicrobial resistance is a public health concern that needs to be adequately addressed,” said Senator Gillibrand.  “Increased data collection, transparency, and accountability are part of a comprehensive solution that will help protect American citizens from drug resistant microbes, saving lives and tax dollars.”

“Our bill would not create any new reporting requirements for drug companies, feed mills, or farmers.  It would only require the FDA to provide more transparency in reporting the antimicrobial data which is already being reported to it,” said Senator Collins.

Specifically, the legislation requires a pilot program to look into new data sources on antibiotics used on food producing animals.  The FDA will create a comprehensive data collection strategy, based on the new data sources, in order to increase data availability to the public, increasing the FDA’s transparency.  The FDA’s increased transparency would shed light on information about antimicrobial drugs used in agriculture that are not currently made public, such as dosage form, strength and targeted animals.  The Government Accountability office will then audit the FDA to determine if the data collection for antimicrobial resistance programs is effective in protecting public health.

© Food Safety News
  • Russell La Claire

    Good idea. However, it looks like a case of do more with less. It takes people, time, effort and energy to get this done. Which of course means taking people who aren’t able to accomplish there assignments now due to lack of funding, and hand them the new job. Unless the Senators are going to wave their magic wand, something else will be put on the back burner.

    • Guest

      Um, “Our bill would not create any new reporting requirements for drug
      companies, feed mills, or farmers. It would only require the FDA to
      provide more transparency in reporting the antimicrobial data which is
      already being reported to it,” said Senator Collins.

  • Mike_Mychajlonka_PhD

    By all means, let’s gather the data needed for an informed decision. This issue is too important for public relations.

  • ScottHurd

    I have written a response to this topic on my blog, Food Safety and Animal Health. Please visit http://www.hurdhealth.com

    • http://twitter.com/MichaelBulger Michael Bulger

      Scott Hurd continues to obscure science on behalf of the livestock drug industry. It’s astounding that someone in his position can deny that antibiotic-resistance originates on farms. Hurd’s reasoning is only effective if one willfully denies data and refuses to make obvious connections based on basic microbiology and epidemiology.

      The logical connection between antibiotics in livestock and human disease been widely understood by the scientific community for over half a century. It’s also been documented through modern biosciences.

      This FSN story is but one example of the confirmed links between livestock and resistance: http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/02/drug-resistant-staph-linked-to-animal-antibiotics/#.UYwmk45SRpZ

      Somewhere along the way, Dr. Hurd left science behind. Thankfully, the evidence is becoming ever-more irrefutable.

  • Tami Lucas

    Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain LIFE May/Jun 2012, Issue 5
    Please read pages 27-29
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  • Tami Lucas

    The Fluoroquinolone Wall of Pain ((see facebook page)

    Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain LIFE May/Jun 2012, Issue 5