Capitol Hill Briefings on Antibiotic Use on the Farm and Public Health

Date: April 14, 2010

Senate and House Briefings
in the Dirksen and Rayburn Buildings

Washington, DC 20002


On April 14, 2010, Keep Antibiotics Working, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, American Public Health Association, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and Union of Concerned Scientists will present Senate and House briefings titled "Antibiotic Use on the Farm and Public Health: A Looming Crisis."

The routine use of human antibiotics in the food and water of food animals results in antibiotic-resistant diseases in humans that are increasingly severe, cause extended hospital stays, and increase health care costs. Experts agree that antibiotic resistance has become a public health crisis that will only worsen if we don’t act now.

Panelists at the briefings will discuss the alarming increase in human antibiotic-resistant infections and review the state of the science linking this phenomenon to on-farm nontherapeutic antibiotic use. Specifically, they will discuss the presence of antibiotic-resistant foodborne pathogens on retail meat, and the emergence of a new strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) linked to hog production which poses risks to U.S. hog farmers, their communities, and the public at-large. The panel will also discuss the potential trade implications for U.S. farmers associated with antibiotic use.

Senate Briefing
When: Wednesday, April 14 at 11:30 a.m.
Where: 430 Dirksen
Honorary Host: Senator Tom Harkin

House Briefing
When: Wednesday, April 14 at 2:00 p.m
Where: 2359 Rayburn (Appropriations Committee Hearing Room)
Honorary Hosts: Reps. Louise Slaughter and Jan Schakowsky

Agenda for “Antibiotic Use on the Farm and Public Health: A Looming Crisis”:

The House briefing will include opening remarks by Representative Louise Slaughter, Chair, House Committee on Rules.

Margaret Mellon, Ph.D., J.D., moderator
Director, Food and Environment Program, Union of Concerned Scientists

Untreatable Infections: A Dangerous Trend
James Johnson, M.D.
Infectious Diseases, VA Medical Center - Minneapolis; Prof. of Medicine, University of Minnesota

Drug Resistant Bacteria and Food Safety
Lance Price, Ph.D.
Director, Ctr. for Metagenomics and Human Health, Translational Genomics Research Institute

MRSA on the Farm: Avoiding a Public Health Problem
Maryn McKenna
Journalist and author of "Superbug: The fatal menace of MRSA”

Antibiotics, Bacteria, and Trade
David Wallinga, M.D., M.P.A.
Director, Food and Health Program, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

To RSVP, please email Ashley Elles at For more information on this event contact Brise Tencer, or 202.223.6133. Refreshments will be provided.

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