REPS. Henry Waxman (D., Cal.), ranking member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, and Louise Slaughter (D., N.Y.) introduced new legislation to require more detailed industry reporting on how antibiotics are used in feed, how many are used on a per-species basis and for what conditions the medicines are included in feed.
Their DATA Act will require drug manufacturers to obtain and provide more information to the Food & Drug Administration on how their antimicrobial drugs are used in the food-producing animals for which they are approved. It also aims to improve the timing of the data FDA publicly releases, a statement said.
Waxman said with this information, "scientists will be able to better pinpoint the relationship between the routine use of antibiotics in animals and the development of dangerous resistant bugs that can harm humans."
Additionally, the bill will require "large-scale" producers of poultry, swine and livestock to submit data to FDA detailing the type and amount of antibiotics contained in the feed given to their animals.
It also requires FDA to coordinate with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to improve the collection of data on the use of antimicrobial drugs in or on food-producing animals.
Steve Kopperud, executive vice president of Policy Directions Inc., said, "This essentially means integrated poultry companies, large swine growers who privately contract and big feedlots would do the reporting. Industry critics of the bill say it provides no new or relevant information (from what) is currently reported and that, as drafted, the bill reveals a lack of understanding of how animal agriculture operates in the U.S."