WASHINGTON - On Tuesday, March 17, Rep. Louise Slaughter introduced the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act of 2009 (PAMTA), nearly one year after the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production recommended that America reform the way food animals are raised. The bill will seek the withdrawal of antibiotics important to human health from use on factory farms unless animals are sick. Medical experts agree that the misuse of antibiotics in industrial farming directly contributes to a dramatic rise in antibiotic-resistant infections in people. Opinion leaders have also been weighing in on the issue, including two recent columns by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof ("Our Pigs, Our Food, Our Health" and "Pathogens in our Pork").
A media teleconference was held on March 17 where experts discussed this new legislation and why it is important to protecting human health.