Mike the Mad Biologist

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.

Sincerely,
Edward M. Kennedy

Despite the wingnut pileon, he was superb on the issues, big and small.

Comments

  1. #1 Joshua
    August 27, 2009

    The little things really matter. I know that these responses are sent out by interns who are probably just copy-pasting anyway, but they’re still extremely important.

    Kerry basically lost my vote in 2004 when I sent along an ACLU action alert or something and all I got in return was an ├╝ber-generic “Thank you for your input”. That’s just insulting, really, moreso than if he hadn’t sent a response at all.

    From Kennedy’s office, I always got responses like the one you did, where the unpaid intern explains the Senator’s position on the issue I wrote about. And when you write to a Senator, that’s what you want. You want to hear “I agree” or “I disagree”, followed by a “here’s why” and maybe “this is what I’ve done so far”. Kennedy’s office (and Capuano, my representative) was always willing to give me that, and while it’s a little thing, I always respected him for that.

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