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Petitions Urge Congressional Action on Antibiotics Legislation

Like many other bills introduced in Congress in recent years, movement on the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA) and the Preventing Antibiotic Resistance Act (PARA) has stagnated.

Two weeks ago, Dr. Mark Hyman introduced a petition on Credo Mobilize to get Congress to pay attention to the two bills. As of Wednesday, Aug. 13, his petition had more than 128,000 signatures.

Food Policy Action has launched a similar petition, which has about 2,900 signatures.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, antibiotic-resistant infections sicken at least 2 million people every year, and more than 23,000 die as a result.

PAMTA in the House of Representatives and PARA in the Senate would ban non-therapeutic uses of medically important antibiotics in food animal production.

“In my practice and in doctors [sic] offices across the country, antibiotic treatments are becoming less and less effective,” Hyman wrote on his petition. “In fact, nearly every major medical organization has called for ending the use of antibiotics in large-scale livestock production.”

PAMTA and PARA “would stem the use of antibiotic treatment in factory farms and help prevent the problem from getting even worse,” he continued.

City councils across the country have also been trying to prompt congressional action. So far, 14 cities including Chicago, St. Paul, Seattle and Pittsburgh, have passed resolutions to encourage Congress to pass PAMTA. The consumer rights group Food & Water Watch has been instrumental in such efforts to move the legislation through Congress.

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