Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), has reintroduced (June 15) the “Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act of 2011” (PAMTA) in the 112th Congress. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Jack Reed (D-RI) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) were co-sponsors of the legislation.

PAMTA reintroduces measures (introduced in the 111th Congress) to address what Senator Feinstein calls "the rampant overuse of antibiotics in agriculture that creates drug-resistant bacteria, an increasing threat to human beings."

In her press materials, Senator Feinstein points to the fact that approximately 80% of antibiotics used in the USA are given to livestock for non-therapeutic purposes.

The legislation, if passed by both Senate and House and signed by the President, would: (1) phase out the non-therapeutic use of medically important antibiotics in livestock; (2) require new applications for animal antibiotics to demonstrate that the use of the antibiotic will not endanger public health; and (3) does not restrict the use of antibiotics to treat clinical illness in livestock or pets.

The text of PAMTA, which has been released today by the GPO, is posted below: