July 15, 2009

CLF Official Statement on PAMTA

Center for a Livable Future

Center for a Livable Future

Center for a Livable Future Statement on

The Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA).

Washington, D.C. (July 15, 2009) – The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) Director Robert Lawrence, MD, issued the following statement today regarding recent Congressional action on the issue of antibiotic resistance.

On Monday, the U.S. House of Representatives held its first hearing this session on the important issue of antibiotic resistance. The Center for Livable Future (CLF) applauds the leadership of Rules Committee Chairwoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and her colleagues to support the increasingly critical public health recommendations put forward in the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (H.R. 1549/S. 619).”

“A panel of experts from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, science and business communities spoke at the hearing about the need to end non-therapeutic use of antibiotics as growth promoters in the production of food animals. The increase we continue to see in antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a major threat to the health of the public, and policymakers should move to phase out and ban the use of antimicrobials for non-therapeutic use in food animal production. PAMTA serves to curtail such use, instead saving antibiotics for therapeutic purposes only.”

“In 2008, CLF partnered with the Pew Commission on Industrial Food Animal Production to produce policy recommendations in the report “Putting Meat on the Table: Industrial Farm Animal Production in America.” The report examines the public health and environmental effects of large-scale industrial farms known as confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), finding that the level of antibiotics used as growth promoters in the U.S. food supply represent a major risk to human health and that this practice is not sustainable. The Commission recommended phasing out the use of antimicrobials added to feed in food animal production in order to preserve antibiotics for treatment of infectious diseases in people.”

“CLF has been pleased to share its expertise on antibiotic resistance and other issues related to the health and safety of the nation’s food system and looks forward to working with all involved to continue this important discussion on the role of antibiotics in our food supply.”

The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) focuses on the interactions among diet, food production, environment, and human health as elements of a single complex system.

Learn more about our latest research, education and community efforts at http://www.jhsph.edu/clf.

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