I came across an email that made me realize that I’ll never get another quite like it:
Dear [Mad Biologist]
Thank you for your letter on S. 549 the Preservation of Antibiotics for Human Treatment Act. I share your concern on this critical health issue.
In recent years, we have done too little to prevent the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria and other germs, too many of our most powerful drugs are no longer effective. The World Health Organization estimates that 14,000 Americans die every year from, today, one American dies every 38 minutes from a resistant infection every 38 minutes. These gruesome figures are more than enough reason alone to continue fighting to help protect the health of our people.
I’m proud to sponsor S. 549, the Preservation of Antibiotics for Human Treatment Act of 2007. This legislation is urgently needed to protect the health of Americans by prohibiting the non-therapeutic use in livestock of medically important antibiotics for humans, unless their manufacturers can show that they pose no danger to public health. S. 549 would have required manufacturers to report on: (1) the amounts of antibiotics they supply for animal use; (2) the animals to which those drugs are given; and (3) the uses for which those drugs are supplied. The bill also authorizes federal payments to farmers to defray the cost of shifting to antibiotic-free husbandry practices. Such assistance is especially needed by family farms.
I’ll continue to do all I can to see that every American is safe from overexposure to antibiotics. Thank you again for contacting me on this issue.
Edward M. Kennedy
Despite the wingnut pileon, he was superb on the issues, big and small.