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(article, Culinate staff)
In late June, Senator Dianne Feinstein reintroduced a bill titled the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA). (Representative Louise Slaughter introduced the bill two years ago, but it failed to become law.) The bill's goal is to keep antibiotics effective for necessary use in humans by curtailing their unnecessary use in livestock. As the blog Food Safety News noted, the bill does the following: Phases out the non-therapeutic use of medically important antibiotics in livestock; Requires new applications for animal antibiotics to demonstrate the use of the antibiotic will not endanger public health; * Does not restrict the use of antibiotics to treat sick livestock or to treat pets. The Union of Concerned Scientists also summed up the main reason why antibiotics are no longer very effective in humans: factory farms. bq. CAFO operators add human antibiotics to the feed of animals to accelerate animal growth and prevent diseases common in overcrowded and unsanitary living conditions. According to the FDA, 80 percent of the antibiotics produced in this country are used in animal agriculture, the vast majority for these nontherapeutic purposes. This amount is estimated to be more than four times the amount of drugs used to treat human illness. Want to find out more, or share your opinion about the matter? Check out the Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming's campaign website, Save Antibiotics.