US bill to phase out AGP's in two years time

US - Bills have been introduced in Congress that would phase-out the non-therapeutic use in animal agriculture of antibiotics that are deemed important to human medicine, writes Bob Meyer on Brownfield.
calendar icon 12 February 2007
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The rules also would require manufacturers to submit information on the amounts of such drugs sold.

The Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act was introduced in the Senate by Edward Kennedy (Democrat, Massachusetts), along with senator Olympia Snowe (Republican, Maine). The House version was introduced by rules committee chair, Louise Slaughter (Democrat, New York), the only microbiologist in Congress.

Pressure has been growing to discontinue the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in animal feed citing the growing resistance to the medicines in humans. Sponsors say the bill has the support of more than 350 health, agriculture and other groups including the American Medical Association. It would phase-out within two years the use of antibiotics in animal feed that are also important to human medicine such as penicillin.

Supporters say it still leaves farmers many antibiotics that are not used in human medicine. The bill also authorizes funds to help farmers defray the cost of phasing out the use of medically-important antibiotics.

Similar bills were introduced in the 108th and 109th Congresses but never made it to the floor of the respective Houses.
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