Issue Brief

Official Text: Hearing on Antibiotic Resistance and the use of Antibiotics in Animal Agriculture

HEARING ON "ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE AND THE USE OF ANTIBIOTICS IN ANIMAL AGRICULTURE''

WEDNESDAY, JULY 14, 2010.

House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Health Committee on Energy and Commerce, Washington, D.C.

"Mr. {Pallone.} The meeting of the Health Subcommittee is called to order, and the subcommittee is convening today for its third hearing to discuss antibiotic resistance and its threat to public health. Today we will examine the use of antibiotics in food-producing animals and the impact of this use on human health.

Antibiotics, as you all know, are among the most significant medical innovations of the 20th century. The CDC lists control over infectious disease as one of its top 10 great public health achievements of the last century, and antimicrobials are crucial to that accomplishment. And yet we must collectively be alarmed that we are undermining the power of antibiotics by failing to use them judiciously. In past hearings, we have heard testimony about physicians that are prescribed antibiotics just in case their patients have bacterial infections, and we all know patients that have stopped taking their antibiotics once they felt better, even if they didn't finish the treatment. It is clear that the consequences of such actions are severe. Manmade antimicrobial resistance weakens our options to treat pneumonia, food-related diseases including E. coli and Salmonella, and hospital-acquired infections, commonly known as MRSA."


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