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Congresswoman Louise Slaughter

Representing the 25th District of New York

Slaughter Statement on Release of Latest Guidance to Tackle Growing Threat of Antibiotic Resistance

November 7, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (NY-25), the only microbiologist in Congress, today released the following statement on the latest World Health Organization (WHO) guidance that calls on the agriculture and pharmaceutical industries to stop using antibiotics routinely for growth promotion and disease prevention in healthy animals. Congresswoman Slaughter has been a steadfast advocate on this issue, including introducing the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act, which would preserve the effectiveness of medically important antibiotics by ending the use of these drugs in healthy food-producing animals, while allowing their use for treatment of sick animals.

“We must heed the call of the World Health Organization and finally end the unnecessary and rampant misuse of antibiotics on healthy animals. It’s time for the U.S. government, the pharmaceutical companies, and corporate agriculture to face the consequences of their inaction. Tens of thousands of American deaths are attributed to antibiotic resistance each year and the threat keeps getting bigger with every passing day. Lawmakers and the Trump administration have a decision to make: keep the status quo of loopholes and voluntary action that puts corporate financial interests above public health or take decisive action that can help us avoid a nightmarish future where antibiotics no longer work. The U.S. is among the worst offenders and we have lagged behind for too long,” said Slaughter. 

Over-use and misuse of antibiotics in animals and humans is contributing to the rising threat of antibiotic resistance. The new WHO recommendations aim to help preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics that are important for human medicine by reducing their unnecessary use in animals.