December 17, 2017

Advocates Disappointed in Senate ADUFA Update

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee just released an update of the Animal Drug User Fee Act (ADUFA). This Act is supposed to require drug companies to report details about antibiotic sales, but the provision that would have increased the FDA’s reporting of antibiotic sales used in food animals is missing.

The Pew Charitable Trusts expressed disappointment with the update. Laura Rogers, a project director at that agency, said in a¬†statement, “we are extremely disappointed that the Senate committee charged with protecting our health has neglected its mission. The nation’s public health leaders urged the committee to allow the FDA to collect more detailed information about the sale of antibiotics for food animal production. Without greater transparency, the overuse of these drugs may continue unchecked.”

Pew commended Senators Kirsten Gillbrand (D-NY) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) who did offer a proposal to scrutinize the use of antibiotics on factory farms. ADUFA must be passed every five years so the FDA has continual funding. The last time it passed congress, the bill included a provision that authorized the FDA to collect and report antibiotic sales data. The organization Healthy Food Action states that Gillibrand and Feinstein are offering to amend the next version of ADUFA to improve the data reported to the public.

The Government Accountability Project (GAP) sued the FDA last year to get information about antibiotic use in food-producing animals. They state that the FDA’s job is to protect the public’s health and that the change in ADUFA reporting¬†will make it much more difficult for public health agencies to know which antibiotics are being used inappropriately.

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