Professor Lance Price Participates in Congressional Briefing on Legislation Aimed at Preserving Antibiotics for Medical Treatment

Lance B. Price, PhD, a professor of environmental and occupational health at Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University, participated in a press briefing held on Capitol Hill to announce the re-introduction of a bill, Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (H.R. 1552), by Rep. Louise Slaughter, (D-NY). The briefing was held on Tuesday, March 24, 2015. The legislation would ban the non-therapeutic use of eight important classes of antibiotics in factory farms, large livestock operations that routinely feed healthy animals low doses of antibiotics. The practice allows farming operations to keep animals in crowded, unsanitary conditions. Exposure to antibiotics in this way also can encourage disease-causing microorganisms to mutate and become resistant to antibiotics, Price says. The resulting “superbugs” can spread and cause drug-resistant infections in humans. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about 2 million Americans acquire a drug resistant infection every year and of that number about 23,000 die.

Slaughter, who is a microbiologist by training, has been leading the effort to get this bill signed into law since 2007. The bill would ban any non-therapeutic use of eight types of antibiotics commonly used in food animal production. According to Slaughter, fully 80 percent of the antibiotics sold in the United States are used in factory farms. Growing scientific evidence, including research conducted by Price and his colleagues, links factory farm use of antibiotics to the rising tide of antibiotic-resistant infections in people.

Read more about Lance Price and his research.

Find out more about the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act or PAMTA.