Legislation proposed to track antibiotic use on farms

by Keith Nunes
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WASHINGTON – Rep. Henry Waxman of California plans to introduce legislation on the use of antibiotics in animals. The bill is intended to give the Food and Drug Administration a better idea of the amounts and types of antibiotics fed to livestock.

“We need reliable information about the use of antibiotics in agricultural operations,” Mr. Waxman said. “The more we learn, the graver the threat becomes from overuse of antibiotics by industrial-scale farms. We need this information so scientists and Congress can stop the spread of drug-resistant infections from farm animals to humans.”

The bill would require drug manufacturers to provide comprehensive information to the F.D.A. on how their drugs are used on farms. The legislation also will require reporting by feed mills. Mr. Waxman said virtually all antibiotic consumption on farms comes through feeds mixed with antibiotics. The bill will require feed mills to submit data to the F.D.A. on the types, purposes, and quantities of antibiotics being given to animals through feed.

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