U.S. PIRG Endorses the Strengthening Antibiotic Oversight Act

Media Contacts
Matt Wellington

Former Director, Public Health Campaigns, PIRG


Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA), along with Senators Gillibrand, Blumenthal, and Feinstein, released the Strengthening Antibiotic Oversight Act (S.3099) today. The bill directs the Food and Drug Administration to review medically-important antibiotics that can be used in food-producing animals for more than 21 days. The bill also gives the FDA authority to limit on how long antibiotics can be used, to minimize the chance of fostering antibiotic-resistant bacteria, a major public health threat.

In response, Matt Wellington, Antibiotics Program Director for U.S. PIRG, released the following statement:

“About a third of the medically-important antibiotics approved for use in food-producing animals through feed or water have label indications without duration limits. That means meat producers can use these drugs continuously, which would further increase drug-resistant bacteria.

“There are few instances in human medicine where such prolonged antibiotic use would be appropriate. We should apply the same standard to animal medicine and farming.

“The Strengthening Antibiotic Oversight Act addresses a serious misuse of antibiotics in meat production and would help ensure that these life-saving medicines continue to work. U.S. PIRG commends Senator Warren and the cosponsors for their leadership on this important issue.”