Congreswwoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY) sent a letter to President Obama asking that he “pay special attention to the issues of antibiotic resistance” at this week’s G-8 summit in Northern Ireland. Rep. Slaughter also urged the president, as she has before, to consider stronger limits on antibiotics allowed to be used in animal agriculture. In a press release, Slaughter’s office noted that Britain’s Science Minister David Willetts recently raised questions about the overuse of antibiotics in food animals and its contribution to the worldwide antibiotic resistance crisis. The only microbiologist in Congress, Slaughter has been pushing her bill, the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA), which would prohibit the routine use of eight classes of antibiotics that are important for human health in order to preserve the effectiveness of the drugs. “This is an issue of grave concern to me given my background in microbiology and public health, and it ought to be of concern to all of us who bear the responsibility for protecting the public,” wrote Slaughter in a letter sent last week. “We are frittering away one of the greatest medical advancements of all time – the development of the antibiotic – by allowing its overuse on farms with otherwise healthy animals.” “As our friends and trading partners move forward with more aggressive countermeasures to this growing public health crisis, I fear that America will find itself at a disadvantage that will impact not only our public health and the lives of our people, but also our ability to trade our products,” she added. “I urge you to listen to your colleagues this week as this matter is discussed. I look forward to an open dialogue with you about the conversations and the next steps.” See the full letter here.