July 22, 2018

Slaughter Wins U.S. House Race

Representative Louise Slaughter, the only microbiologist in Congress who has a Master’s degree in public health, won her race against Mark Assini, who conceded Wednesday. Slaughter is a food safety advocate and a sponsor of PAMTA (Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act).

CongressSlaughter said in a statement, “It’s gratifying to be re-elected for another term so that I can continue fighting for the community I love and am honored to represent. Like I said during this campaign, Washington might not be working, but I sure am, and I’m glad to continue that work.”

PAMTA is designed to reduce the number of antibiotics that are used in the production of farm animals. Massive scientific evidence shows that this overuse of antibiotics, especially in sub therapeutic ways, contributes to the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that are threatening our health. The legislation would require the FDA to phase out the use of these drugs for growth promotion and to prevent illness in poor growing conditions. Eighty percent of all antibiotics used in this country are used on food animals.

Rep. Slaughter has also called on the FDA and USDA to improve regulatory oversight, surveillance, and monitoring of food animal production and antibiotic resistance. In 2011 she wrote to the Department of Health and Human Services asking to see a national plan to combat antibiotic resistance. Since that time, President Obama signed an executive order that creates a new cabinet position with a task force charged with developing an action plan for dealing with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. That order includes a $20 million prize for the development of a rapid bacterial infection diagnostic test.

 

 

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