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Homesteading and Livestock

Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.

New Legislation on Antibiotics and Agriculture

By Alison Rogers

Tags: industrial agriculture, antibiotic resistance, food and ag policy,

Factory Farm


An announcement from our friends at The Pew Charitable Trusts:  


Chipotle CEO joins Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and leading antibiotic expert to discuss the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act of 2009 

Nearly one year after the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production recommended that America reform the way food animals are raised, Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) will reintroduce on Tuesday, March 17, the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act of 2009 (PAMTA). The bill will seek the withdrawal of antibiotics important to human health from use on factory farms unless animals are sick. Medical experts agree that the misuse of antibiotics in industrial farming directly contributes to a dramatic rise in antibiotic-resistant infections in humans. The news media have also weighed in on the issue, including in an

op-ed today from columnist Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times. 

According to estimates by the Union of Concerned Scientists, 50 million pounds of antibiotics — nearly 70 percent of all antibiotics sold in the United States — have been used in food animals for purposes other than treating disease since PAMTA was last introduced two years ago. Antibiotics are commonly fed to entire flocks or herds in their daily feed or water to compensate for overcrowded, often unsanitary conditions and to promote weight gain, giving rise to new strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. At the same time, few new antibiotics are entering the market to take the place of ineffective ones. The Food and Drug Administration last approved a new antibiotic for humans in 2003. 

The Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming is joining the American Medical Association, the World Health Organization, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, and countless others in working to protect human health by eliminating the misuse of antibiotics in food animals. To learn more, visit