July 23, 2024

Senators Ask FDA to Collect More Antibiotic Data

Four U.S. Senators have written a letter to the FDA to ask that agency to increase tracking of antibiotics used in food animals. They want the agency to propose a rule that improves collection of data on farm antibiotic use and its connection to bacterial resistance.

AntibioticsSenators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) all wrote the letter. ┬áIt states, “we applaud your agency’s recent step to issue improved, more transparent reports on annual food animal antibiotic drug sales and distribution data. However, we are disappointed to learn that your agency has decided to delay proposing a rule that would further enhance data collected on this topic until next year, when the OMB estimated the rule would be released in 2014.”

Foodborne pathogens that are resistant to at least one antibiotic cause more than 400,000 infections every year in this country. President Obama released a national strategy to combat antibiotic resistance earlier this year, which includes orders to improve the surveillance of antibiotic resistance and oversight on how antibiotics are used.

The Senators also want the FDA to develop a plan to estimate how antibiotic sales and data relates to on-farm antibiotic practices. Since any kind of antibiotic use contributes to the development of bacterial resistance, good data on antibiotic use practices is critical to identifying these risks. Data about the distribution of medically important antibiotics is needed to monitor the effects of the President’s new policies.


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